Last night my boyfriend Garron asked me did I know what the Butterfly Effect was. I said I thought I did and asked was it something to do with a small action potentially creating a great one. He nodded and went on to describe to me how something so delicate as the flapping of a butterfly’s wings can create something so powerful as a hurricane on the other side of the world. Like wow.
To clarify the butterfly effect, in chaos theory is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.
The term, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a tornado (the exact time of formation, the exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier. Lorenz discovered the effect when he observed that runs of his weather model with initial condition data that was rounded in a seemingly inconsequential manner would fail to reproduce the results of runs with the unrounded initial condition data. A very small change in initial conditions had created a significantly different outcome.
Garron then voiced his concerns about could the Microsoft data storage systems under the North Atlantic Sea change our environment through a series of small effects on the local water temperature; its very own butterfly effect. We don’t know, we are only throwing about ideas and theories but his words today resonated through my conscience as I ran in the hills. As I let my thoughts wander guided by my feet on mother earth, our recent conversation came into my thoughts.
Could something so small as the heat generated from this data storage centre (created to be environmentally helpful!) do something to change our whole pattern of climate, the directions of the wind, the currents of the ocean; could that small subtle change in the temperature of the sea have an effect on the rest of our planet?
I don’t know enough but I do know that there is a delicate balance in our world and as humans we keep pushing that beyond the point of rebalance and without a doubt in my mind my feelings are, that there will be consequences.
As I mentioned, I went running today. It was a soul run; a “called to nature” run and I went far farther than instructed by my training plan. Some days when given the nudge there is somewhere I am supposed to run, and some insights I am supposed to be given; and this was one of those days.
I don’t argue! I knew that this is exactly where I was supposed to be, high in the foot hills of Keeper Hill, and so I dumped my thoughts, let everything slow down, let myself be present, allowed my feet to get connected into the ground and breathed from sky to head to toe to ground if this makes sense. I ran along in the peace and let the wisdom of what is meant to come to me start to flow. It’s up to me to let this flow happen and it sometimes takes a bit of work to not get overly attached or stuck in any one place. Try this for yourself when out running. I find that it’s easiest when I connect to what’s around me; then my thoughts slow and the rest just happens.
Today I noticed that everything is very dry; everywhere! We are currently experiencing a weather pattern here in Ireland that is so unusual to us that it is shaking us all up a little. We are all trying to ask why.
Why is it so dry? What’s the reason for this persisting heatwave? What is the scientific explanation? I think this is a part of human nature; we want to know the cause. Maybe there is one, maybe there isn’t, but there’s no shadow of a doubt that this change in our normal has created a certain element of uncertainty and anxiety in us all. Most aren’t aware of it, but it is palpable. People like certainty; its part of our programming. So we are wondering could this be evidence of global warming, is it indeed the Butterfly Effect, or is it just a simple change, is it just the cycle of it all or not or maybe?
I thought about all of these things as the birds flew by with me, and the butterflies flitted about in abundance; I noticed that where man has touched the Earth it’s dry. I also noticed as I ran into the thicker untouched forest that she was perfectly ok. The streams still flowed, the trees were healthy and nature was present in abundance.
We now know that the trees of a forest all work together as a whole system, a sort of interconnected family ensuring that each is nourished with what it needs. I saw evidence of this, the forests will be ok; mother nature is a survivor left to her own devices. The trees are capable of working together as an organised system and this system will ensure that the hierarchy of importance will be preserved and this will benefit the whole forest and ensure its longevity. Amazing. If only us humans could do the same, but no, we fight for territory and resource guard until the whole balance is lost and we eventually will fall like a house of cards.
I thought about how people are responding to the dry spell and my guts twist a little when I think of people buying up giant Lidl swimming pools to ensure that they have enough water for themselves, completely oblivious to how there is a need currently for us all to share the resources that we have in common.
Maybe I am expecting too much of people, is there a survival and a fight for what you can take predisposition innate in all of us? Yet it also shows a complete lack of awareness that we are a community and that we are all connected and if I take more then you have less; but sometimes we all need for one another to have a little because we are all connected. And I may need some of the skills that you have! And if I take more right now I have less later? Are we teaching our children to ignore the balance and so our problems go on…. and on… and on.
Perhaps it is all about balance. In this year alone in Ireland I have seen the river at its highest with rain waters and at its lowest with drought. I have seen the worst snow fall and snow storms in Ireland this year in 36 years and the hottest temperatures in 40!
The balance seems very extreme this year. Around the globe we are currently seeing dormant volcanoes erupt, and peaceful lava become angry such as in Hawaii.
And as I place my feet into the ground on my run I cannot argue with the sense of knowing that we have failed to respect the balance or our earth and her resources and mother nature is talking.
I can almost walk across this river currently it has gone so dry; not something I am used to seeing!
Mother nature will always seek to restore that balance and we must learn to respect what is enough and what is too much and how to balance taking with replacing. Like I mentioned, my country experienced torrential rainfall during the winter and yet we didn’t harvest this resource adequately; in other words we don’t respect the gift that we get; wonderful rain. Many countries long for what we get; and yet make do with so much less. We are wasteful.
We must better respect what we have; this resonated through me as I ran on through the unspoilt quiet countryside this morning feeling utterly grateful. My loop then took me to forest entrances at Ballyhourigan and Doonane woods, and my anxiety started to rise again as I drew closer to people and it was then I noticed the rubbish and dumping once more. Who do we think is going to pick this up? how do we think it’s going to just disappear? Why are we creating an eye sore of dumping within this beautiful tranquil forestry; how are we so selfish?
I’ve noticed the leaves on the trees these past days ageing and I thought to myself is autumn going to come early this year? Will this drought change our normal pattern of Seasons and if autumn is early and the leaves fall more quickly does this change the cycle of how the trees give oxygen and inhale carbon dioxide. How much are we changing the balance of this planet and is it all too late to make a change to bring the balance back. Although the shift is ever to tiny, a longer winter does ever so minutely increase the amount of CO2 in the balance. Like I said, it is all shifting balance points.
Mother nature will defend herself, of that I am certain.
We aren’t living on a dead planet she is very much alive and currently she is very much showing her presence. We are seeing volcanoes erupting, weather patterns changing, icebergs melting. I guess we can either try to work with our planet or eventually it will become unsustainable to include us on it. Mother nature will stop supporting life but you can guarantee that without us she will rebalance just fine. Just like life returned to the places decimated by Chernobyl, eventually; life will go on without humans.
I stopped to admire a brown cow in the trees, to then see her two little babies in the tree shade. As I do, I said hello. I then noticed a larger cow looking at me and realised he was the bull. I have a slight fear of bulls and in spirit symbols they represent strength and power (and perhaps being bull-headed). I looked at the bull, he looked at me and in between us rested his two babies. He moved forward one step, and with this one step I felt every kilogram of his intention to protect his babies.
He eye-balled me and I wasn’t even going to argue with his interpretation of the situation and or try to show him with my energy that his babies were safe. I ran and despite the fence I looked over my shoulder every couple of seconds until I was several fields away. Wow this big guy packed some powerful energy in just one look.
So there it was in front of me; mother nature will protect herself and she will protect her future generations and as humans we must start to appreciate and respect this.
There is a balance and we are only the guests on this planet.
I don’t know the answers; I don’t know whether it is all just a dynamic and ever-moving pattern, or whether we are doing serious damage to our planet. But right now the anxiety as I perceive it, within this shift in balance from the normal, is palpable. Everything feels off and people sense this; meaning that their behaviour and actions are somewhat off and especially towards one another.
There is also a significant energy currently present of less defined timelines. Past memories seem to be swirling amongst current experiences; suppressed fears and hurts are coming to the fore in a dizzy mess. If you cannot catch this then the day will hit you with many challenges or you will simply project this energy on to others. However, if you are feeling emotions and memories coming up for you, then perhaps it’s time to own them, heal them and then moves forwards stronger, more conscious, more compassionate, and with greater certainty about your path. Somehow it is connected to everything.
There is such a beauty surrounding us in every moment of the day; there is “extraordinary” present in every moment of “ordinary”.
As my feet hit the forest trails I noticed the abundance of butterflies that the warm weather has brought to us, and as I ran they flitted in their pairs around me, and the birds flew with me, and the forest sang with the movement of trees and water and insects and for those few moments everything felt alive and well.
All will be well, but wouldn’t it be nice for the generations to come to experience these same moments?
What can you change?