To Unite or To Divide: Man & Nature

In Braiding Sweetgrass the author, Robin Wall Kimmerer recounts the story of Skywoman. It is the Iroquois people’s story of creation. In this narrative, a pregnant woman falls from the sky carrying seeds. Before she can fall into the ocean, some birds work together to save her. A grand turtle rises from the ocean and the birds lay her on its back. All sorts of aquatic animals give their lives to retrieve soil from the bottom of the sea. The Skywoman uses the soil and seeds to sprout Earth as we know it and gives thanks to the animals who died for her. Kimmerer then contrasts this narrative to that of Adam and Eve. In the biblical story, Adam and Eve are expelled from the garden of Eden after eating the forbidden fruit. They are then thrown into the wilderness which is described as dangerous and unforgiving.

The Rebuke of Adam and Eve, Charles Joseph Natoire, 1740.

In addition, I bring attention to the reason Adam and Eve ate the apple. Eve was intrigued via natural curiosity. Then devilish serpent convinces her to take the forbidden fruit. I am no theologist, so I will not analyze the deeper meanings of the narrative but rather the implications.

Skywoman Falling, Honni David, 2018.

Adam and Eve is the dominant story of Earth’s creation because of Christian/catholic colonization and genocide of the people who held Skywoman as their creation story. The main narrative of Adam and Eve condemns exploration of the environment and listening to an animal. However, both of these are needed to have a relationship with the environment. If one does not interact with their surrounding environment there is no chance of learning its needs. Which prevents what is called Biosphere Stewardship. Environmentalist Carl Folke describes Biosphere Stewardship “requires management and governance of human actions as intertwined and embedded within the biosphere and the broader Earth system.” Biosphere Stewardship is important because it ensures that the entire planetary ecosystem is thriving. The Earth system is comprised of the atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere. If one is compromised the rest will follow. I hope readers understand the intrinsic value of our world.

The biggest question I want to answer is how greatly the story of world genesis influence human relation with Earth. Is the Christian genesis story that is dominant in America leading to the dangerous gluttony of Earth’s resources?