I have been thinking about modernization, development, and waste over the past few days. My thinking has been spurned on by seeing beautiful birds fly in and out of our garden at number 11.
Though I am struck by the beauty of these birds, I am hardly happy to see them perched in trees just outside my front door.
Let me explain a little.
When I was growing up in Kimberley in the 1970s and 1980s the only birds that made it into my surrounds were rather dull birds the locals call "Mossies" (House Sparrow).
The Mossies are still around but they now share their urban surrounds with more exotic birds who have been displaced by frantic modernization and development.
Suburbs and roads and the mass migration of people are slowly destroying the 'wild' or natural areas where these birds, like the Weaver Bird pictured here, usually live.
Beyond the presence of these birds are other displaced species of reptiles like Geckos and frogs.
Over the last few nights I have looked closely at two curious Geckos on the ceiling of our veranda.
I have never seen Geckos in Kimberley. So I checked with folks if they are usual to our area. I was told that they are from the area but certainly not usually found in suburban areas.
Then there I was taking a slow walk the other day when I came across a family of Meercats hurrying across the street.
I must admit that the sight was a delight. Well a delight at first, and then my heart sunk to think that these higly intelligent animals never live in suburban areas.
So modernization and development is so present here now that the unusual is usual, and that includes the stuff the West sells as markers of progress.
Just last week I watched a sizeable crowd of people gawking at a big yellow Hummer in a parking lot of the new mall that makes my hometown look like Anytown USA.
Do we really need these huge malls and the gas guzzling murder machines that are like religious icons to the folks who believe we are modernizing and developing?
Is this progress?
My guess is that it is not. At least not the kind of humanitarian progress that we will be able to sustain with dignity and enviromental harmony.