By Merle Conyer
Twice I have experienced shattering ecological awakenings, when a fog that I never knew had enveloped me lifted. Both times it was as unexpected in its revelation as it was surprising in its impact. This article is a personal story which shares how these moments shaped new understandings and calls to action.
The first instance was almost twenty years ago, in a Queensland seaside town 1000km from home. I randomly opened a book overflowing with recipes and holistic wellbeing guidance. I was stopped in my tracks as I read about the impact of a carnivorous diet on the environment. Instantly I shifted towards a vegetarian diet, and soon after reduced consumption of manufactured goods and toxic products, increased repurposing and recycling, and started a worm farm. This felt like a big shift at that time as I had not previously given any attention to environmental matters or green politics. So it was not engagement with these that shattered this veil of delusion, but rather the horror of waking up to the complicity of my consumptive choices.
The second instance occurred a couple of years ago about 4000km from home in the Great Western Desert of Western Australia. I had joined a two-week ‘Sufi Walkabout’ with Aboriginal and Sufi guides for my first bush camping experience and was well and truly out of my comfort zone.