Many people can point to a moment when they awakened to the condition of our Living Planet, and what was to yet to come. This awakening shifted their behavior from that point on.
Ecophany is the name given to the emotional, spiritual & intellectual awakening to the climate & ecological crisis.
Ecophany is formed from two words: it is an ecological epiphany.
Ecophany is not comfortable, but it is necessary if people are to become empowered to make things better.
If humans are to avoid the collapse of the global ecosystem and the extinction of the human race it is necessary to develop the means for Fostering Ecophany.
Ecophany is something that happens naturally to people.
However, it is possible to create conditions to foster individuals to have Ecophany.
This is called Fostering Ecophany.
Fostered Ecophany could come from something as simple as a conversation.
If fostered Ecophany could be replicated thousands or millions of times, this would be an example of Mass-Ecophany.
This is what needs to happen to prevent the collapse of the global ecosystem.
A mass spiritual awakening to nature.
Once people have had their Ecophany they would benefit from support to help them turn their new awakening into positive action for the Living Planet.
This includes Solastalgia Care, fellowship with Vitans and environmental education.
In the kitchen, Lilly slaps the CH Fund contracts onto the table and stands there, wiping her hand down her face, trying to settle her nerves.
Vinnie clips in behind, wearing high-heels covered in mud. The sight of her shoes cracks through Lilly’s anxiety, and she bursts out laughing.
“What?” Vinnie asks.
“You don’t have the right footwear for an Earth New Year party.”
“Clearly not. And I am sober as a judge.”
“We can’t have that.”
Lilly whisks open the refrigerator that is crammed with every delicious thing to eat and drink under the Sun. She pulls out a bottle of Champagne and sets to work opening it.
“I’ll get glasses,” Vinnie clips across the tiles to the cupboard.
With bubbles in hand, the two friends chink glasses together.
“You’re trembling again,” Vinnie says.
“I couldn’t go to war, Vinnie. I decided to let it come to me.”
Just then, comes the sound of an angry voice as Tom Cata enters the house. “Lilly!?” he shouts as he swoops through the lounge room.
Tom Cata bursts into the kitchen, catching Lilly off guard. His eyes fall to package holding the CH Fund contracts. “I’ve been ringing and ringing and ringing and you’ve been screening my calls,” he says, trying to compose himself.
“I am not going to sign it, Tom.”
“F**k me!” Tom moves over to the cabinet and retrieves a glass, then pours it full from the champagne bottle. Vinnie steps back, unsure how all this plays out. She’s never seen Tom agitated before.
Tom drains his glass in one slug, them grimaces as the bubbles flood into his nose. He turns to his wife and puts on his most charming smile and compelling argument. “Kitten. You spent two months putting this thing together. It’s all but done. And it’s worth a fortune. Can we…?” He draws the package towards him and unhooks the tear flap.
“Don’t open that, Tom. It’s not addressed to you.”
Tom ignores her, tears the strip away and tips the contents onto the table. There are four bound documents with little pieces of plastic printed with arrows and the word ‘sign’, protruding from the side of the pages.
Tom flips a document open to the first page. He withdraws a pen from his pocket, hands it towards Lilly and sets his face with a stern glare.
There is the sound of commotion as a half dozen people enter the building in the middle of a fast flowing discussion. “Are we supposed to be in here?” asks one voice. “Why is there a helicopter parked in the street?” asks another.
The voices grow louder as the party-goers move along the hallway. They halt at the doorway to kitchen, observing the tense stand off. Lilly recognizes one of them; the tall guy from Froyd’s flux party. He’s dressed the same: daggy, old jeans and a rabbit fur waistcoat. Her eyes light up, and his response is the same.
“Lilly!” he says, surprised.
“Skun Rabbit!” she replies.
“Everything okay?” Skun Rabbit eyes Tom suspiciously.
“It’s just fine,” Tom snaps. “We’re just going to finish some business, then Lilly can come out to play.”
“Everything alright here, Lilly?” Skun Rabbit asks again.
Lilly inhales deeply. She looks down at the documents. She could sign them and have Tom out of her hair in seconds. A cramp takes over her stomach and her mouth goes dry. She glances up to see Vinnie shaking her head and this steels her nerves. She turns to Tom and says firmly. “Not now, Tom. I’m having a party.”
She turns towards the doorway to where Skun Rabbit stands, but before she can move Tom reaches out and grabs her upper arm. She swipes him away. “Get out, Tom!” she bellows. “I’ll see you about this tomorrow.”
“I don’t know what the f**k is going on here, Lilly!” Tom directs the pen towards the people standing tensely in the doorway. “But you need to sign this thing right now.”
“Leave it till tomorrow, Big Boy,” says Skun Rabbit, taking a step forward.
“It’s not your business,” says Tom.
“I’m making it my business,” says Skun Rabbit, moving closer still.
Tom reaches forward, grabs Lilly roughly by the arm and thrust the pen towards her. “Sign the goddam contract.”
Lilly swipes her arm, striking the pen from Tom’s hand. He lashes out, slapping her in the face. Lilly shrieks and feels strong hands take her by the shoulders and pull her aside.
Skun Rabbit moves on Tom Cata, grabs him by the shirt collar and delivers three punishing blows to the side of his head. Bam! Bam! Bam!
Tom falls, lands on one knee. “What the f**k?” He clutches the side of his face, stunned.
“Three for one!” bellows Skun Rabbit. “Return on investment. Now f**k off!”
Tom gets to his feet, a palm pushed against the side of his face. “You’re a f**king idiot, Lilly. I’ll be back tomorrow.”
Then, as if from nowhere, a champagne glass flies across the kitchen and strikes Tom squarely on the nose. Vinnie snatches up another glass and holds it above her head in the throwing position. She starts yelling: “Get out of here you philandering old tool! We know all about your dirty habits, you creep! You’re on the divorce heap starting today! She’s coming for you! She’s coming for everything you have!”
One of the women in the doorway takes Lilly’s hand and gently guides her out of the kitchen. “Let’s get you some fresh air,” she says.
Lilly holds her hand to the side of her face where Tom slapped her. He skin aches awfully, and her head is spinning from all the action and anxiety. The kind stranger walks her out of the house, and Lilly turns to see Vinnie through the kitchen window yelling at the top of her voice, waving a champagne glass like it were a dagger. Good work, Vinnie.
Lilly looks back to the huge bomb fire, and she starts laughing. The first casualties are coming off the battlefield, battered and bruised.
The kind lady hands her a drink. “That guy needs a restraining order.”
“For starters,” Lilly says.
A loud growling noise of a big engine comes from the side of the house and a red flashing light pierces the night. Then a loud honking of a horn as two fire engines enter the yard. They are full-sized machines, glistening in the firelight. Alan and his mates direct them to their allotted parking spots while the firemen inside lean out the window waving to the people in the crowd.
Lilly starts to laugh aloud. This is just ridiculous. Then from the other side of the wall, a black helicopter alights. The sound of the honking fire engines, the chopper and the party music all blends together into a mad cacophony.
Lilly sees Vinnie and Skun Rabbit moving in her direction. Vinnie is anxious and walking awkwardly as her high heels sink into the fresh turf. She wraps her arms around Lilly, “Are you okay, sweetie?”
Skun Rabbit places his big hands on her face and peers at the skin where she was struck. “You’ll live.”
“Thank you both for being my defence,” she says humbly.
“It’s not over yet,” Skun Rabbit says, looking up at Tom’s helicopter returning.
The chopper hovers over the bomb fire and slowly descends. The down-wash pushes against the fire, sending it sideways and throwing embers into the air. The little orange chips of flame swirl around the party-goers. At first, it is taken as a game and the laughter and merriment increases. Then it become serious as the hot ashes stings someone’s face. A woman starts shrieking, running around shaking her hands, her hair on fire. A big gust, and the hot wind washes over the crowd and there is a collective yell of panic. The firemen leap out of the truck and begin to pull out hoses.
“No way!” yells Lilly. She shakes her fist at the helicopter above. “You will not destroy this party.” Then she breaks free of her companions and moves as fast as she can into the house. A minute later, she returns cradling a long, double barrel shot gun.
“Holy smokes!” says Skun Rabbit. He moves towards Lilly. “Do you now what you are doing?” he asks anxiously, holding his hand out to prevent her from raising the barrel above ground level.
“One good thing about being raised in the aristocracy,” Lilly says as she loads two cartridges of bird-shot into the open barrels. “They teach you how to shoot.” She cocks one barrel, raises the gun, and fires.
BANG! The sound of lead pellets striking the soft aluminium skin of the helicopter. The chopper wavers in the air, as if Tom knows that he is under fire and is changing flight plan. Lilly cocks the second barrel and fires again.
BANG! This time, the pellets strike the perspex canopy and Tom turns the chopper away from the fire, and drifts out across the forest.
There is a huge yell of excitement and cheers as two hundred Vitans get back to their party. The firemen stand down, and the driver of the fire truck repeatedly hits the horn.
Skun Rabbit takes Lilly’s free hand, raises it in the air. Lilly raises the shotgun as high as she can, and Skun Rabbit shouts, “Victory!!!”
A loud cheer rings out across the huge yard in the mansion in the forest as the bomb-fire settles back into consuming the helicopter-denying rose bushes.
Skun Rabbit takes the gun from Lilly and passes her to Vinnie who has staggered up the lawn holding two champagne glasses.
“You did it girl,” she says, handing over a glass. “You saw him off, big time.”
Rae makes her way towards Lilly, the Chrysalis Day document in her hand. Lilly sees this and begins to tremble, uncontrollably. The champagne spills from the glass. She hands the glass to Vinnie, then reaches out for Rae. Rae takes her hand and they both walk towards the house.
In the kitchen, Lilly breaks down. She becomes a mass of tears, barely able to stand. “I’m so sorry,” she weeps. The trembling takes over her whole body. Rae places the Chrysalis Day document on the table and observes Lilly’s meltdown with detachment and disbelief. Then she softens and cradles her elder sister. She wipes hair away from Lilly’s forehead.
“I can’t believe what I have been doing,” Lilly trembles as she weeps.
“It’s okay, Lilly.”
“I have been fighting this all my life. I don’t know why.”
“Just let it in.”
“I’ve been standing back, like Lord Muck, watching all the other people do the work. And what do I do? I set the monster free. Why would I do that?” She sobs, unable to breath properly. “You can’t fight this on your own, Rae. You don’t know what these oil people are like. They’re so f**king mean.”
Lilly clutches Rae and holds her tight. “Something has shifted in me.”
“It’s okay, Lilly. It’s your Ecophany. You are just having Ecophany. It comes to all the good people, eventually.”
Lilly lifts her head, wiping away her tears. “This planet is in a shit of a mess. So much misery and pain.”
“Oh, yeah,” Rae nods, wearily.
“Is there anything that we haven’t messed up?”
“Not really, Lilly.” Rae starts to chuckle, a cruel laugh.
“Unfortunately, nope. Every ecosystem of scale has been tampered with or wrecked. The ocean is acidified. We’re undergoing abrupt climate change and still burning billions of tons of carbon. Fisheries depleted. Topsoil washed away. The sea is choked plastic. We’ve pretty much f**ked everything up. And that’s just the environment.” Rae runs her thumb down Lilly’s cheek, removing a tear. “But look on the bright side.”
“Is there one?”
“Sure, there is?” Rae says, cheerily.
“What’s is it?”
“There’s a lot of rich Baby-boomers out there, doing just fine. So, there’s that.”
Lilly nods at length. She knows most of the ones who live on the Peninsula. “You need some rich Baby-boomers working on your side,” Lilly sniffs.
“You’re not the first to make that observation.”
“Are there any?”
“Not enough. It seems as though richer they are, the rosier the world seems to them.”
“What are we to do, then?”
“Well, I am going to take a look at Chrysalis Day. I am hoping that Froyd has written some magic in there.”
“You haven’t opened it, yet?”
“It wasn’t given to me.”
“Give it here.” Lilly takes the envelope from the tabletop and rips it open. She tips the contents onto the table.
It is a single document, with the title: Chrysalis Day: Fostering Mass-Ecophany. There is a symbol, a stylised green horse, like some sort of Bronze Age art.
“There. It’s done. Maybe you could brief me on the contents.”
“Sure. You okay, now?
“Yeah. I am good now.”
“Oh, by the way,” Rae says. “I have a present for you.”
“Does it have a nuclear bomb theme?”
“Some say that she is a bit of a bomb-shell.”
“On her way. She’s coming in from Perth for the night.”
“Imagine, all the kerosene,” Lilly says, chuckling, cruelly.
“It’s a commercial flight, cattle-class, triple offset.”
“So, he did it.”
“Froyd said that he was going to get the Lord sisters back together again.”
“Well, just for a night, at least.”
“Let’s see what this says,” Rae says, raising the Chrysalis Day document. “Maybe it becomes permanent.”