Star knowledge, megalithic
formations, mystifying carvings, awe-inspiring structures, legends, and strange
sounding names, a legacy handed down from the past of by-gone ages.
Indisputable proof that the past is much more than dry history books sitting
forgotten on some dusty shelve.
people who lived during the years long past were not much different than we are
today. They worked to feed themselves and their families, they sat around
talking with their friends and children. They were peoples with hopes and
dreams, fears and uncertainties about the tomorrow.
They left behind a rich heritage
and have much to teach us. Their stories reach out across the ages, allowing us
to step back in time to walk beside them. They have opened the door to their
homes, welcoming us to share their lives.
Truth is said to be
stranger than fiction. The truth being that ancient man was far more capable
than many, today, realize. Societies, using only basic Stone Age tools, created
monuments that have withstood the harshness of the ages. They built uniquely
designed structures, many of which have astronomic connections, and have left
behind many unanswerable questions. Newgrange, Maes Howe, Angkor Wat and the
Cahokia Mounds stare at us in silence. Daring the venturous to enter into their
world and solve the mysteries of the past.
past shrouded in the mystic veils of the ages. Jigsaw puzzles with many pieces
still missing, and unfortunately, perhaps forever lost. Causing us to wonder,
and shake our heads, about those who left their footprints in the sands of
only were the ancient societies capable of building, they also possessed
knowledge about the skies. Basic knowledge that is unknown to the average
person of today.
the day we first placed our feet down on this earth, our eyes have been turned
upwards. Creating a continuing love story between man and the stars. This
fascination extends from the builders of Newgrange to the many unsung heroes,
who today, search the skies with far reaching telescopes.
roots planted in the past reach into the morrow. It is not a story of the stars
and planets, but of people. People, who in a large or small way, had their
lives affected by the universe around them. Every society, every culture has
been, and will continue to be, affected by the way they ‘look’ at the skies.
our mind responded to what we saw influenced our behavior. We wondered, we
theorized, and we questioned. Our answers, not always correct often wrong,
paved the way for others to build upon or change. We made up stories, we
applied star knowledge to daily lives, and we used the skies for control and
Mankind went from the belief of star
gods, to the theory that the earth was at the center of the universe, to the
question was, or is there, life on other planets.
Down through the ages countless
numbers of people have dedicated themselves to this mysterious universe. Some
spent the majority of their lives building monuments to honor the stars and
planets circling in the sky above. Others dedicated their lives to bring us the
results of their studies. It is the story, not of our modern day observatories
dotting the landscape, but of places and peoples such as the five thousand year
old builders of Newgrange.
Ancient cultures had their own way to watch and honor the
celestial wonders. A link that began thousands of years in the past, continuing
to Galileo and Copernicus onwards to the valiant men and women, who today,
brave the dangers of outer space.
There is much truth there is much
non-truth handed down to us from our distant ancestors. Myths and legends told
and retold running through the ages. They have become an integral part of the
cultural heritage belonging to the various civilizations that have inhabited
Not only did the sky play an
important role but so too the environment that surrounded the ancient
settlements and camps. Animals roamed the hills and valleys, oceans and
deserts. Strange creatures that possessed lighting fast speed, or the ability
to shed their outer skins or the powers to move silently, dangerously through
These creatures, often having
abilities that the humans wished they possessed, became gods to be worshipped.
Gods that were both good and bad. They brought rain or drought, good weather or
storms, health or sickness. As with the sky lore, animal mythology helped to
explain that which the ancients had to live with, but could not understand.
And so the myths and legends grew, becoming part of our heritage!
Around ancient campfires stories
were handed down by word-of-mouth. Trying to bring order and stability to the
lives of mankind these stories explained the mysterious world surrounding them.
Every culture, every society had
their own legends. People scattered over the face of this planet all had
one common element – survival. And that survival meant understanding to
co-exist with that which surrounded them, and controlled their lives.
So pull up a chair. Forget the
computer and telephone. Picture a campfire, with a group of people warming
themselves under a canopy of twinkling starlight. Listen! Listen to the voice
of the elders, as they tell their tales.
Today we may understand the world
in which we live and the universe surrounding us, but somewhere between
yesterday and today we lost our respect for that world and that universe.
Waterways are polluted, wetlands
are disappearing, and wildlife is becoming extinct. People going about their
daily lives care little for the dog or cat that has just lost its home. We have
become an uncaring and selfish world.
But there is hope. In almost every
country there are groups dedicated to saving the environment and the thousands
of different species that share our world.
Every hour, somewhere, there are
tireless volunteers helping at community shelters, rescues, and wildlife
sanctuaries. They clean cages, walk the dogs, and give medication. Their reward
is not the kind that goes into a bank. It is the wagging tail, the purring of a
cat, or the soaring eagle that has just regained its health.
There are people who fight against
puppy mills, lobby for spray/neuter programs, and companies who donate food and
materials. Some people march in demonstrations, some speak out to the media,
and some, such as myself, write about the wonders of nature and wildlife in the world around us.... hoping. Hoping to show what a wonderful we live in, to gather people together, to protect the environment and the species living thereon.
Each person that cares has his or
her own way of fighting for this planet, and the abuse of the environment or
the animals that inhabit it. There is no right or wrong way. As long as there
are those who manage to influence and change the uncaring, then the method does
not matter. It is the deed that counts.
Five thousands years from now will
future societies want to read about our accomplishments? More important - will
there be future societies?
How we deal with others and what we
leave behind us is a measure of who we are. The question to be asked is how are
we doing? Will there be water to drink or swim in a thousand years from now?
Will seahorses, frogs, and fish still dwell in the seas to fascinate young
inquisitive eyes? Will tuatara, deer, and elephants still roam the lands?
If we cannot save other species how
can we save ourselves? The answer lies in caring, the question is do we have
the courage to do so?
Governments are starting to listen
and are enacting laws protecting nature and enhancing animal welfare. There is still much
to be done and it is an uphill battle. But each step gained, each victory won,
leads us closer to winning the war!