Saturday, August 29, 2015

Forest Cathedral: A Place for Reverence to Life


A tribute to Pamana (Philippine Eagle), a lost national treasure. Dr Abe V Rotor 


Forest Cathedral in acrylic (30" x 48") by the author 2015
It is a place where the spirit of a sacred and noble bird* returns to the home of its ancestors and kin and tells the story of man, the rational, the wise, self anointed guardian of creation, yet in many ways cruel, uncaring, and cold;

It is a place where a stream is born from the watershed of trees, shrubs and lianas, gathering rain that falls anytime in the day and night, dewdrops from mist and fog, spring water from aquifers and water stored under the ground;

It is a place where the life-giving sunlight casts over the vast canopy of the forest, seeps through the foliage and nourishes the undergrowth, the epiphytes and lianas, and over the forest floor to wake up the sleeping seeds and spores;

It is a place where the "lungs of the earth" give off oxygen in exchange of carbon dioxide, condenses clouds into rain, keeping the integrity of the water cycle that is vital to all living things, and to our economy, health and welfare;

It is a place where threatened and endangered organisms find refuge, and given time and chance to restore their number into sustaining population levels, e become capable of living again freely and openly with other species;

It is a place where leaves turn gold to orange and red come every fall - or deciduous period - showering confetti and building litter on the forest floor, home of a myriad of living minutiae that convert organic materials back into elements for the next generation;

It is a place where new and unknown species have yet to be discovered before they disappear with the destruction of their habitats, where other secrets of nature are revealed, and medicine and other useful materials are developed;

It is a place to see animals otherwise reared as pets or caged in zoos live free: colorful parrots in lovely pairs, flying lemurs glide across treetops, kalaw or hornbill perched on high trees, tigers training their cubs, eagles ruling the sky;

It is a place to listen the sounds of nature traced to different organisms like the shrill of cicada at summer's end, croaking of frogs in the rain, shrieking monkeys at play and abandon, sonorous call of hornbills, slithering sound of reptiles on the move;

It is a place where naturalist Edward O Wilson formulated the principles of socio-biology; where Henry David Thoreau wrote a treatise between man and nature, Walden Pond; where Jean-Henri Fabre studied insects known as entomology;

It is the setting of beautiful stories and music: Francisco Baltazar's Florante at Laura, Jack London's Call of the Wild, Robin Hood, and many stories for children; Beethoven's Pastoral, Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture and Jean Sibelius' Tapiola;

It is a place where we pay homage to the home of our ancestors, before they set out onto the grassland where they hunted, and later built communities and institutions leading to the creation of human societies, and ultimately nations. ~


*Lost national treasure, Philippine eagle Pamana (heritage) shot and killed within its sanctuary  in Mount Hamiguitan, a UNESCO heritage site on August 16, 2015. It is one of the few remaining members of the species, formerly Philippine monkey-eating eagle. 

Details of painting

A pair of parrots; Pamana,  Philippine eagle
 
Young adventurers on a forest stream, a pair of parakeets, a pair of tarsiers
 
A pair of Philippine deer; a pair of flying lemurs

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