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A story 180 feet off the ground

The story behind the Legacy of Luna is one that highlights the current condition of the environment at large. It is a specific account of the story of Luna, an ancient redwood tree, and the life of Julia Butterfly Hill for 738 days. But far more significantly, it serves as a fleeting glimpse of the world we know of today, churned everyday up from within by huge-scale environmental disasters caused by no less than human indifference to the state of the environment.

To protest the collapse of the human capacity to protect the forests at all levels, Julia braved the forces of nature and of mankind that stood to shake her goal of proclaiming before the rest of the world 180 feet from the ground the gross negligence committed by man to nature. Julia’s attempt is no small feat. In fact, it is sharply dangerous that it supersedes any other form of activism. Not only did the torrential forces of Mother Nature come to test her willingness and perseverance to stand on what she thinks is right as heavy rains at night and the heat of the sun by day absorbed her physical endurance.

Humanity also chanced at letting her succumb to the pressures being pushed from all sides by the wood industry. The inevitable weakening of the body did not matter for as long as one remained strong in character and determination to defend that small patch of the earth where an ancient redwood tree stood mightily. In the end, Julia and Luna did not bow down. The effort taken by Julia is, indeed, not an easy underpinning. Imagine living in utter desolation from the conveniences offered by the society for approximately two years.

Imagine braving the strength of the forces of nature and of man hurling from all sides. Imagine facing a significant fraction of your life towering from the ground with very little place to move around. This is the shared life of Julia and of Luna in the midst of a growing threat to the environment. Even if this is the path embraced by Julia as a manifestation of her protest and of her activism, it must be noted that this is not the only means in waving the banner for the protection of our forests.

Having a huge population of concerned individuals climbing atop a tree and spending two years of their lives there is certainly not far from being possible although the chances of it’s occurrence is barely beyond imagination. However, as Julia herself claims, her ascend to the top of the ancient redwood tree is certainly not the only viable measure to embrace. Neither is it the best way. What one can learn from Julia’s “plight” is that there is still hope left in conserving what remains today in our environment. The ecological treasures that the Earth still has are never far from being protected and passed on to the generations to follow.

Even in the presence of the haunting faces of man’s insoluble appetite for the resources of nature that stare everyone right in the nose, one can still discover little sparks and strands of hope that can eventually grow into a sizeable force able to quell the callous entities that seek to undermine the vitality of nature. In fact, one need not to actually follow the footsteps set forth by Julia in the literal sense. One can join the call for the protection of the environment in its totality through one’s simple yet significant contributions and efforts.

The story of Julia and Luna can only best serve as a model for a noble task. The task of wielding oneself aligned to the preservation of the ecological systems present in the world can be diffused into simpler methods where one is not actually required to live “above” everybody else. One can join the crusade placed before us by the story of Julia and Luna by simply engaging oneself in the simplest of the tasks such as household recycling and proper garbage disposal, perhaps stretching to the point wherein one can join the individuals independently monitoring the current status of the forests.

Apart from all these, one must be reminded of the fact that the efforts of Julia serve as an emphatic landmark in the history of the protection of the dwindling forest reserves all-over the globe. It trumpets a call that hurls the attention of the rest of the population, echoing through distant lands and probable extending beyond the decades of preservation of the environment. The creation of an agreement on the preservation of Luna with the Pacific Lumber Company after Julia set foot again on solid ground is a huge success not only for Julia herself but for the rest of humanity and the remaining trees in the environment.

Not only did it serve as an assurance that one can do so big with unique and risky measures. It also provided future pro-environmentalists the idea that it is never too late to brave the environmental challenges of contemporary times. The time when Julia ended her stay with Luna is the time for a new beginning, of extending the muscles that we have already flexed in battling and countering the plummeting of the hearts of many for nature that has so long nurtured people from her bosom.

The legacy of Luna and the glorious descend of Julia is no fairytale that ended happily ever after for the end is yet to come. It is the real story of a woman determined enough to hold on to her principles even at the grip of nature, holding on tight to what little is left in the environment and preserving it with sheer confidence and drive.

Reference Hill, J. B. (2005). Luna & the Tree Sit. from http://circleoflife. org/inspiration/luna/

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