There was so much symbolism, albeit subconscious, in what my daughter said at lunchtime as we sat outside, looking at our faded-to-almost-white, plaster cast of the Green Man. She said "The white man needs to become the green man again," simply meaning we ought to give him a fresh coat of green stain.
Today's NY Times article about a draft report by federal agencies that we are already experiencing climate change here in the US, that human activities are the primary culprit, and that temperatures have risen dramatically since 1980, reminds us how interwoven with Nature we really are - we can't escape it.
It is high time that we white men return from feeling superior to Nature to respecting it, working with it, recognizing that we humans are Nature, too, and cannot exist without it. Nature is what surrounds us, provides us with everything we need to live - food to nourish ourselves, fiber to clothe ourselves, building materials, plants for medicine to heal ourselves, and materials to express ourselves creatively via music and the visual arts.
The Green Man is an ancient, mostly Celtic, symbol for man's symbiosis with Nature. While indigenous cultures have steadfastly maintained their intertwined relationship with Nature, as much they were able to through the long assault period by Western culture, we whites completely forgot that we are Nature, that we owe everything to it, that we cannot live without it.
May the White Man become the Green Man again.