It all started when I was standing next to a river in the south of Mexico. I found myself staring at the water flow by in complete shock, I was nearly sick to my stomach. It was filthy, contaminated and even smelled of raw sewage.
The same feeling that’s haunted me ever since I was a young child.
The root of that feeling got planted many years prior when I was just a boy and would frolick around the countryside down by the ravine at my grandpa’s house.
It was by that ravine where I witnessed my first small environmental catastrophe.
Little did I realize, that seeing an oily chemical residue flowing in the water with dead salamanders would eventually one day alter the course of my life!
Even to this day, I still find myself profoundly puzzled and confused, when I see polluted rivers, and trees getting cut down, and especially whenever I pick up the latest edition of national geographic and read the current state of affairs that are plaguing the natural world around us.
Even now, I found that it gets real personal for me whenever a piece of land that I used to play by, or a tree that I used to climb on when I was a child, gets ravaged, exploited, and cut down, just for profit and gain, “or worse” for no apparent reason.
“The ground beneath our feet is sacred”
I’ve always felt like I’ve had a very special connection to nature and the natural world that surrounded me. Deep down, I feel more comfortable and complete when I’m on a trail hiking or swimming in a lake.
So when I see unnecessary pollution, and clearcuts, and or even animals and creatures being wiped out and displaced, and disrespectfully walked over, I feel like a part of who I am, a part of my natural heritage gets stolen from me.
“The natural world is my passion and purpose, my temple and church”
For example: during my previous life when I worked in the construction industry I remember that it was a normal everyday occurrence when the homeowner / landowner would be absolutely adamant about cutting down a tree (even giant 200 year old grand oaks) just because they didn’t want to move the fence or deck around it and honor the tree and coexist.
And as time went on I started grow disenchanted. I began to feel bitter and cold towards the world. I would find myself locked up in my room for days on in. Slowly slipping down the rabbit hole hopelessness and despair. I kid you not, In my late 20’s, I even went as far as contemplating taking my own life!
It may seem kind of far out, but I felt this way truly because of the destruction of the natural world.
There were some dark times but deep down I was confused. I thought to myself, “I’ve always been a pretty happy, go lucky kind of guy”, I asked myself, “what happened to me, where did I go wrong”?
I remember people always telling me “Dale, your just so damn happy, your always smiling, where can I get some of what you’ve got?”
And I’ll never forget, on my 22nd birthday my partner Julie at the time, gave me a book and on the inside cover she wrote “ Never lose your spark of happiness”.
Whenever I share those dark cloudy days with people I always tell them that “the problem isn’t with a psychological disturbance or chemical imbalance within. I know that I don’t need antidepressants!
For myself, it was always the outside forces, all the death and destruction that I would see happening to the natural world outside, everywhere all around me”.
But even more disheartening was that on some degree, I was contributing to the drama and destruction, and I was mad and upset because I was just trying to make a living.
Then one of my great teachers Jay told me not to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders anymore.
Eventually, I started to free. I felt like I could breathe because I wasn’t carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders anymore.
I learned that the world is the way that it is and there’s some things that you just have to accept! You can’t change the world right?
I started learn how to observe the pain, feel it, and then exhale it out, kind of like shake it out!
Somewhere along the lines something else happened. I realized that I was training myself to detach from the madness and mayhem.
This is one reason why I love and respect the teachings of the buddha because over the years it showed me how to observe the pain, feel it, but understand that it’s always changing and I don’t have to be a victim of my feelings.
But as time passed by, I also realized that I can’t just turn my cheek the other way. I couldn’t just accept the truth of desertification and habitat loss.
“ It was eating me alive”
I can’t just observe nature and miraculous species being wiped out, being erased and eradicated from billions of years of evolution and just think to myself, “yep, that’s just the way it is”, I couldn’t just sit on the sidelines and watch the death and destruction anymore.
In my eyes these are crimes against nature in a real way. It’s become culturally acceptable to ravage and exploit nature, but I feel like nature is apart of you and me, it’s family!
“Nature is magnificently sacred”
It’s one thing to work with the natural world and harvest her bounty and gain sustainable sustenance from the land, but it’s totally different to ruthlessly rape, pillage and denude her.
Nature is so abundant, just think how many acorns are dropped from an oak tree in the fall? Thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, per tree, per year. But, when an entire countryside is slashed and wiped out, or and ancient forest cleared to make way for a new housing development the delicate balance of nature is out of sync.
It’s of paramount importance that we live and coexist with nature rather than ravish her. And it really just boils down to respect, respect for the priceless gift of all lifeforms!
I feel like all the creatures, microbes, trees, bugs, fish and humans are part of my immediate family, so I naturally want to protect them.
I believe that all species should have legal rights just like an individual or a corporation has. The right to be and exist and to live natural life, free to express themselves. Every species should have a right to life!
A large part of my dharmic destiny and reason for existing, is to be that voice for all the creatures that have no voice!
The core of my message is really about rewilding part of the landscape, even just small pieces of it. It could just be letting the grass in the back corner of the yard to grow over, and allowing the leaves to lay where they fall rather than sweeping them to the curb because the leaves themselves provide crucial habitat for bees to stay warm during the winter.
So here we are in 2019 with over half of the worlds trees gone forever. Most of the old growth forest gone. Almost every river in the world is polluted with oil and chemicals. And over 100 plus species of animals going extinct every single day.
This scenario doesn’t feel good to me!
So, overtime I started to do research about the state of our ecosystems around the world. And, I started to see a pattern of destruction. So began to document and archive my findings in the library of lost ecosystems”, resource page coming soon!
I did this so we as a species can see and understand the sheer scale and magnitude of the destruction that’s happening right here in our backyards.
On the flip side, I am also creating a database of restored and protect ecosystems. This way we can all document and celebrate the rebirth of brand new ecosystems.
So, what are the solutions and how do we get out of this mess?
I’ve often pondered and asked myself “ what can I do? And does it even matter what I do”? The answer is yes, and we can all have a freaking blast and a party while we’re saving part of the world!
That’s exactly why every place I visit and do plant trees and do river cleanups, I also organize “celebration of life” potluck dance parties, on a theme of environmental resurgence.
I’ve always been a cup half full kind of guy, and many times my cup has been overflowing. So, I always try and look on the bright side and be as optimistic as I can!
A bare piece of land will naturally reforest itself over time. For example; a forest will reseed itself and grow “without human intervention” however this can take anywhere from 100 – 600 years.
With The Miyawaki Method for example, it’s possible to grow a 100 year forest in only 10 years. And only after 3 years will require absolutely no maintenance!
And there are proven, natural, biological methods to restore our watersheds and even remove harmful chemicals and pollutants from our streams and rivers. We can do this by adhering to the natural principles of phytoremediation and mycoremedial restoration methods.
And I think this at the top of the list of national and international defense!
We are at a crucial point in time and history, as a species.
Mankind and the rest of life on earth can’t wait a 100 years for a forest to replenish itself. We need results, and real transformation on many levels right now. And it MUST start with our local habitats and landbases.
It’s not enough anymore to send money off to a charity to plant tree in some far away community. The time is NOW to take massive action right here in each of our communities.
Just like Captain Paul Watson founder of Sea Shepherd’s once said, “ Why are we searching for intelligent life in outer space when there’s intelligent life right here on planet earth”?
For myself, I vow to never stop until there are forests, ecosystems and rivers being planted, cleaned regenerated and nourished every single day.
My intention is to clean rivers beyond just picking up trash and surface debris. My goal is to clean and purify streams, rivers and bodies of water far beyond just what the eye can see and perceive. I truly aspire to transform them into pristine bodies of water like before pre-colonial times!
It’s not just about planting trees and picking up trash. It’s more about healing and nourishing the land beneath our feet. The land that we’re borrowing from our unborn children.
My passion for restoration ecology runs deep through my veins.
My true passion and purpose here at this point in time is to be a loud, authentic voice for all the voiceless creatures and ecosystems around the world that don’t have a voice I will teach the next generation of little humans to be steward of our earth.
“I serve mother earth and all her creatures”.
The Mycowear Manifesto
I, Dale Hoskins as a fellow creature on planet earth, from the bottom of my heart and soul, want to make a humble promise to You and all species on planet earth. I promise to help preserve, protect and restore as many ecosystems as I can, all around the world, so that the future generations of all species and lifeforms, can thrive into the future and beyond.