I have just spent a couple of days in Rotorua to attend a conference on reflective practice. On Friday afternoon, I skived off and went for a walk to see the sights as I had never been to Rotorua before.
Living on top of a volcano
I am exaggerating slightly; Rotorua isn't exactly on top of a volcano, but it's not far from one. And every where you go, there are reminders of thermal and volcanic activity. There is a persistent smell of rotten eggs. Steam escapes from creaks in the ground, and water and mud bubbles away furiously.
Rotorua has made its fortune from this. People come from all over the world to see the geyser and bathe in the hot pools. But I got rather freaked out by the evidence of the fragility of the Earth's crust. Any day the whole area could explode or implode, depending on how Earth's mood. Or it could be engulfed by lava from the near by volcanoes such as Ruapehu. I tell you, I couldn't wait to leave.
The end of the world is nigh?
I do not subscribe to the beliefs of some that the biblical prophecies about the end of the world are being realized now. And I am not an environmentalist. I tend to live my life very selfishly, not really paying attention to any thing much outside of my daily routine, although I am proud of the fact I throw out my cans for recycling.
But I must admit that my trip to Rotorua has made me very aware of this fragile world we live in. And I do wonder how far we can push Mother Earth before she says that she has had enough, and she uses the full force of her immense power to wipe us away and stop us poisoning, slashing and piercing her any further.
Am I being fanciful? What do you think?