A Love Song to the Arctic Ocean, “Ocean Anthem” Shows the Power of Song to Save the World
Since time immemorial, the vast and majestic ocean has captivated our imagination. The primordial cradle in which life on Earth originated, its effulgent presence reminds us of a time when we lived continually immersed and connected with all. Our souls still remember that expanse beneath the ancient stars. We still feel in our cells and in the pulse of our breath the tidal pull to experience the ocean’s sparkling waves, mysterious depths and infinite horizons. Biologists know what we have always suspected in the deepest place of our hearts: we cannot live without our world’s great waters.
Today, our overheated oceans face a myriad of threats from acidification and waste to exploitation, noise and sea level rise. But it does not have to be this way. We live in an agitated world, tending to think of ourselves as separate eddies caught out of the stream of life. We often consider home to be a few feet of space that we own, instead of an interconnected whole to which we belong. Our restless minds can get caught in the undertow of anger, despair and greed, instead of embracing the buoyancy of compassion. But music—the language of the soul—can reawaken us to the oceanic depths of unconditional love and the courage to act on it. This is the landscape in which the song “Ocean Anthem”, part of GEM (Global Education for MAPS), was born.
The ocean’s magnificence is a creative and spiritual mentor for the Canadian musician, yoga teacher and author Parvati, founder and CEO of Parvati.org. From poetry inspired through meditating by the shore of Kanyakumari in India, where the Arabian Sea meets the Laccadive Sea and the Bay of Bengal; to songs sparked by the dolphins in the waters that nestle Greece’s thousands of islands, Parvati has given her life to be an apprentice to Nature. In the summer of 2010, that mentor spoke in a voice she could not ignore.
It was an unusually hot July in Toronto, Canada. Parvati was planning a concert and workshop tour of Asia that fall, but had a recurring dream of lying on the ice of a frozen ocean. Below, a blue whale was waiting for her. It knew why she was there.
Answering the call, Parvati cancelled her tour and travelled instead to the North Pole, where she gave the northernmost musical performance ever, to raise awareness of the melting Arctic sea ice and its importance to life on Earth. In a remote High Arctic village on her way to the top of the world, she was greeted by Inuit elders who said, “You are the one who has come to do healing for the planet. We knew you were coming. The whale told us.”
Nature speaks through each one of us, if we are willing to listen. When we give it voice, its rhythms can lead us to greater balance, abundance and possibility than we ever imagined. In deep prayer for the health of our feverish planet and all beings on it, Parvati offered songs to the stillness of a crystalline Arctic seascape. These moments at the icy crown of the Earth, shared with the whole world in video footage, were the foundation of GEM.
When Parvati returned from the North Pole, she had been changed by her willingness to listen and give voice to Nature. The whale had summoned her; she had responded; and the two would forever be connected. Now, her song “Ocean Anthem” celebrates and invites everyone into that partnership, through love of the world’s smallest ocean—one that holds the key to our survival.
We all have the opportunity to listen to Nature and let it guide our course. We each are on a hero’s journey. “Ocean Anthem”, coming soon to radio waves and video streams everywhere, is a call to adventure, inviting us into the immense luminosity of love for our world’s interconnected waters.
… We wake up to
The light of your magnificence, the beauty that is born
Of the billions of lives to which you give form.
Oh, we hear you! Now we hear your call
For the good of man, for the good of all.
No, we won’t—we won’t let you fall!