Monday, December 05, 2005

"The End of Days..."

This excerpt is from the End of Days, an Environmental Thriller
authored by Les Aaron...

Christchurch, New Zealand
The Time: Now

The Old Maori Chief:

The old man lived outside of the city in a suburb that had already turned to slums. The people who still resided there had seen their world change in fundamental ways... And, for many, they were unequal to the task of fitting their lifestyles to the new ways.
They were the proverbial fish out of water as so many native people are complicated by modern technology.

The old man who had the visitor today was known as a chief to those with long memories of the tribal days... The young man who had come to see him had similar roots except his grand-mother had intermarried and, as a result, he had adopted the white man’s life. He worked for the local newspaper and was employed as a columnist who covered life in this small eclectic community that combined both modern and old ways.

He had come today on a special mission. In the last ten months, his island home in the Pacific had been especially hard hit by freak weather patterns that had resulted in torrential rains, flooding, frequent storms, strong winds and other anomalies that didn’t fit any of the historical patterns in their severity and length.

The young man sought out this frail old man who had once been known for his ability to provide wise counsel and his special knowledge and understanding of things natural. The old man had been failing in health now for several years; yet he prided himself on maintaining his knowledge of the traditions of his people. . Many of his people had lost touch with the ‘old ways.’ He greeted the young man at the door. He was wearing jeans and a plaid woolen shirt.

“How may I help you young man.”

The young man explained that he was writing an article about the changes that had taken place.

After listening politely, the old man explained that these changes would continue because the western people who had taken over New Zealand had forgotten to respect Nature and had shown only contempt for Gaia principles that held that Nature was not inert or unfeeling; that Nature in truth was human-like and that all people lived in delicate balance with their natural surroundings..

The Maoris were a people who always understood about natural forces. And they knew that man’s actions would have serious consequences. In the meantime, the old chief and his people had been swept up by the kind of progress made by these newcomers.

Automobiles, printing, radio; television...all of the conveniences and paraphernalia of man's modern culture came crashing down on them robbing them of their connection with Nature... It was something that they were not prepared to cope with and they succumbed. Now, there was no one left to respect the old ways except perhaps for a handful of old-timers like him.

“Be warned,” the old man said, “that no good shall come from man’s abuse of Nature. That the signs we are seeing now are merely the beginning of what is to come. Heed my words and change your ways or let the white man’s selfishness mark the end of days.”

The young man looked up and nodded as if to demonstrate respect for the old man’s words. He understood that the old man knew things that the younger scientific types could not. In deference and respect for the old man, he took notes, asked him a few more questions and thanked him for his time. The old man closed the door of his little one room shack that seemed to be held together with spit and wire and the young man walked with his head heavy for he suspected that what the old man said was true but that few would listen or believe him or do what was necessary to make the outcome anything other than inevitable.

les Aaron

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