The Life Cairn

A memorial for extinct species.

Keith Parkins
Dec 20, 2013 · 7 min read

There are now over three thousand stones lying in a heap on Mount Caburn. If you pass by, please add another. Or better: begin your own Life Cairn where you live, as a point of awareness, a guiding light on this dark mountain. — Andreas Kornevall

The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human. To damage this community is to diminish our own existence. — Thomas Berry

There is a ridge of hills that runs around the back of Swanage on the Dorset Coast. Walking along this ridge one day, it became very misty. I had a feeling of spirits all around me. Only later, did I learn I was walking through a Bronze Age burial site, several large cairns.

A cairn is a pile of stones. Why do we find something satisfying in piling up stones?

In the corner of Playa Jardin, someone, or maybe a group, had made piles of stones, carefully balancing one stone above the other.

Santiago was asked why did he wish to travel to see the Pyramids, when all they were were a pile of stones, something we can create in our back garden.

We have always lost species, but we are now losing species at a cataclysmic rate, an estimated 55,000 a year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ou6aMISsqY
http://vimeo.com/24161259
http://vimeo.com/58246439
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The Life Cairn is located on Mount Caburn in Sussex

The Life Cairn is located on Mount Caburn in Sussex, a joint project of Andreas Kornevall and Rev Peter Owen Jones, to mark the cataclysmic loss of species.

Anyone passing by, is asked to add a stone, to pause and reflect.

A cairn to mourn the loss of species, a cairn that says, thus far and no further.

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black rhino
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Life Cairn in the forest of the Hampshire Sustainability Centre

The Life Cairn located on Mount Caburn, may have been the first, but it was not to remain alone. A new Life Cairn was built at the Sustainability Centre, near Petersfield, Hampshire.

http://vimeo.com/42284842

Last summer (5 June 2012) a Life Cairn was built in central Stockholm. A stone travelled to Sweden from England hand to hand by foot.

Note: Quotes are from Andreas Kornevall, co-founder with Rev Peter Owen Jones of The Life Cairn.

Top Story in The Digital Mission Daily (Saturday 21 December 2013).

Light on a Dark Mountain

The machine is stuttering and the engineers are in panic.

Keith Parkins

Written by

Writer, thinker, deep ecologist, social commentator, activist, enjoys music, literature and good food.

Light on a Dark Mountain

The machine is stuttering and the engineers are in panic. They are wondering if perhaps they do not understand it as well as they imagined. They are wondering whether they are controlling it at all or whether, perhaps, it is controlling them.— The Dark Mountain Manifesto

Keith Parkins

Written by

Writer, thinker, deep ecologist, social commentator, activist, enjoys music, literature and good food.

Light on a Dark Mountain

The machine is stuttering and the engineers are in panic. They are wondering if perhaps they do not understand it as well as they imagined. They are wondering whether they are controlling it at all or whether, perhaps, it is controlling them.— The Dark Mountain Manifesto

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