|"The Green Man" from 1997 Rites of Spring ritual|
The Green Man is an almost universal archetype of the renewal of life in the spring, and it is, of course, beloved by contemporary neo-Pagans as well, symbolizing manhood as re-newer and re-generator instead of as "warrior", which so often becomes authoritarian destroyer in a patriarchal, dominator, "alpha male" based culture (and this includes "dominating" nature, instead of working with nature).
Below is a wonderful documentary that I ran across almost by accident, about a man in India who single handedly, and with extraordinary dedication, planted a thriving forest, beginning his work in 1979. His story began my search for other "Forest Men". To watch and listen is to be not only inspired, but to feel hope. Because I believe that this is what the future civilization will have to look like, these technologies of love, sustainability, Earth based science and spirituality, along with new and old ways for human beings to cooperate and get along with each other. I believe, instead of vast space stations and digital robots and endless wars, the future will have to look more like a forest, or a garden, if there is to be a future civilization at all.
And the message Jadav Payeng (and the others I have, through the grace of UTube, been able to share here) carries is that renewal can happen when humans become stewards of the land, and let Nature do what nature does, assisting in simple ways, like planting trees, or allowing environmental diversity to be protected enough to return. These regenerated forests and deserts truly offer us hope.
I am reminded of a book by Alan Weisman called THE WORLD WITHOUT US, in which the author researched areas around the world that had become abandoned or off limits to people, like the neutral or demilitarized zone between North and South Korea - and the extraordinary renewal that took place in such environments. There was also a 2008 television documentary called "Life After People" that explored the same theme.
Since, as I mentioned in the previous post, I can't think of what to say of late, I will let these people speak on this Blog instead. They are true Green Men., Majuli Island, India