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By Hein Kaiser


Mother Nature slaps back… maybe it’s time to give back

We are not deserving of anything less than a b*tch slap from the universe for our behaviour as a species.

It was a whistle-stop day trip to Kimberley and a happenstance encounter with a Khoisan healer that segued my perspective somewhat.

Whiling away a couple of hours before my flight back to Johannesburg I headed off to the Big Hole’s ye olde mining village for a bite.

It was impossible not to notice the brightly dressed woman donning a headset of porcupine spikes. She minced around the area continually, stopping for a smoke and a reflective moment or two, before waltzing off again.

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It was irresistible to approach her to find out what the hell she was doing. I didn’t expect the response she gave.

She introduced herself as a healer, and pointed to her tiny, corrugated iron stall where she plied her trade. Here, clients came to visit, to seek out traditional wisdom, healing and cleansing of the soul.

But the healer believed in a greater purpose of her gift. She said that her primary goal was to heal the land, the Northern Cape and the soul of her people.

It’s no small task. Poverty is rife in the Northern Cape and crime is on the increase.

People are desperate she said, and something’s got to be done. And in her own, spiritual way, she wants to make a difference.

What struck me though was that she didn’t blame apartheid, nor the current government, for the materially and, she said, spiritually starved people of Kimberley and the Northern Cape.

The healer blamed Barney Barnato and Cecil John Rhodes, and the thousands of prospectors that crowded the town in search of diamonds in the dust. Of their own fairytale fortunes. The people who dug out the Big Hole.

And the healer said that as the hopefuls spaded into the heart of the planet to help themselves to her riches, so too did they rack up a karmic debt for the area that is still being repaid, in instalments of poverty, crime, drought and socio-economic ills.

She said that people just took; they never gave back.

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Nobody bothered to look after the planet. And by destroying the environment, disturbing the ground of ancestors, fauna and flora sans recompense to nature came at a price.

The healer believes that as diamonds were plucked from the ground, in volumes, it also changed aspects of the earth’s magnetism, ergo also changing its relationship with other bodies, heavenly and on earth, including people.

At first it all sounded so farfetched and La La land to me that I shrugged it off as another whack day at a museum. But then it dawned on me.

Isn’t this what climate change is about? Are the crazy weather patterns we are seeing around the world not simply a consequence of global warming, but instead a planet lashing out in anger, trying to rid herself of the plague of humanity.

People are warmongers. People plunder. People help themselves, entitled through a birthright simply by virtue of being human. We take. We accept.

But never graciously. Gold is dug up, leaving miles of emptiness below ground.

Coal fires smoulder underground burning to barren the fertile land above ground. Oil spills coat animals in cloaks of death.

That’s what we do to nature in the name of greed and progress.

And we don’t give back. We are not deserving of anything less than a b*tch slap from the universe for our behaviour as a species.

That’s what I feel the healer meant. Maybe it’s time to give back.

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