It’s Earth Day today! This is one celebration that I can really get behind. As a terrestrial ecologist who went into this field simply out of sheer love for the natural world, environment-related matters are dear to me. On hindsight, this was probably a naive career decision. There were definitely days when I thought, if I only knew how much money IT professionals made I would’ve taken that up in Uni! haha.
Kidding aside, I really have no regrets with the field that I chose to pursue. I get to spend my days among towering trees! And that is where I feel most at home. I have friends who are competitive swimmers, and they also surf and dive because they are in their element while in the water. While I managed to get certified as an open water diver (with difficulty! :-P), I’m never as comfortable in the water as I am in the forest.
So today I take this moment to look back on one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life – standing inside the gondola of an 80-meter tall canopy crane, watching the early morning fog lift from one of the most mega-diverse places in the entire planet. And this was during the mass flowering of the dipterocarps, something that they only do once every 7-12 years. On my journal I wrote, “I consider myself immensely blessed to be soaking in all this beauty.” [Borneo, Oct 2013]
But it was a privilege that we are fast losing. From where I stood, I could see a clearing, and hear the chainsaws. Just a few minutes drive from this place were hectares upon hectares of oil palm plantations. Let us be mindful of the choices that we make and how they affect everything around us. And let’s celebrate and appreciate what we have while it’s still there. Happy Earth Day, everyone! 🙂