Where’s My Whale
This theme is the centrepiece of the eyes4earth initiative and focuses on meaningful nature experience and encounters with wildlife. ‘Meaningful’ can be interpreted in many different ways and we don’t wish to influence that interpretation. However, as a guide, such experiences may be understood as those moments in nature where one feels a sense of ‘oneness’ or ‘wholeness’ with their environment. We are particularly interested in those times when you may have had an uncanny or powerful encounter with an animal. People may reflect on these experiences as, e.g. ‘synchronicity’, ‘awakening’, ‘Divine’ or ‘a-ha’ moments. The wildlife encounter may even be accompanied by a symbolic message in which one finds personal meaning.
Whatever the label, anecdotal evidence suggests that such moments may facilitate a ‘collapsing of boundaries’ between an individual and their natural environment… where one may feel an ‘interconnectedness’ which they might remember for a long time to come.
Share with us your experiences about when you had a heightened awareness in nature. Or tell us stories about times when you got a ‘sign’ from nature, observed unusual animal appearances, or other wildlife wonder encounters which you found to be meaningful in some way.
Our diverse backgrounds usually shape how we view nature and what kind of meaning we get from it. We know that many indigenous peoples on earth have retained intimate connections with nature and its creatures but can these experiences still be found in our Western-based societies? If so, by whom? And where, when, how and why? Is it common? Is there evidence? Is it under threat?
Since 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, we are more than eager to learn about such perceived phenomena. Do such experiences help change how we view the world around us? Does it shape our perceptions, attitudes or reconnect us with nature? What is the catalyst for such moments? Is the potential for such experiences being affected by the extent of environmental degradation and rate of climate change?
So there’s lots of questions. We hope you can provide us with some stories and answers so we can shed more light on this through ‘Where’s My Whale?…’ Click on ‘Share Experiences’ below or, if you prefer, simply firstname.lastname@example.org with your stories.
And why is it called ‘Where’s My Whale’? We could have also called it ‘Wildlife Wonders, Animal Actions, Antics & Attractions’ or simply ‘Meaningful Moments’. But the ‘Where’s my Whale?’ name originated a few years back and it has stuck. In some ways, it symbolises that loss of meaningful connection with our animate world. And, well, we have also found that for many people, whales – possibly more than any other species – seem to light up a sense of connection and emotion by their mere mention, let alone presence. At times, they almost seem to become a global ‘totem’ or indicator for our collective attitudes toward the environment. The search for ‘my’ whale may resemble our current search for meaningful reconnections to nature and her biodiversity….