Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Red Panda" - maryhelen22

TITLE: Red Panda
ARTIST: Mary Helen Epps
EBAY ID: maryhelen22

Why I'm using my creativity to save the rainforest ...

Once, when I was young, I watched a documentary of a film crew that had happened upon an indigenous tribe, living deep in a rainforest near the Amazon River. The film makers called the tribe the “flower people” and continually compared them to early man, stressing that this was the tribe’s first encounter with “civilization”.

They were a beautiful people, decorating themselves and everything in their village with a multitude of tropical flowers in all shapes and colors. Their main diet was the pulp of a certain tree, which after the pulp was removed, the hulled out trunk became a canoe, the branches a hut or fire wood. They would celebrate the harvested tree, placing flowers and a new sapling in the spot where the tree had been taken.

They smiled and laughed a lot. They were friendly and more than hospitable to the strangers who had come to film them. It was like a Utopia. I longed to live with the “flower people”. Some time after, I saw “The Medicine Man” and realized that the “flower people” probably no longer existed.

Oh sure, there may still be a tribe, although they were probably relocated and are wearing tee-shirts with words and logos they don't understand instead of flowers. Trying to make whatever money they can, to feed and shelter their children and pay for medicines for their new illnesses. Everyday watching as more of the beautiful trees and flowers they once called home disappear. And knowing their children will never have the chance to experience the beautiful existence that those before them had.

I hope that my participation in this quilt and the money made for the Rainforest fund, will aide in making sure that the Utopia that is the rainforest, never disappears. In a world where so much is taken, we each must strive to give back.