“Keep close to nature’s heart…and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”
I am humbled and sorry to say that I have not always been appreciative of Planet Earth and all of the life-sustaining benefits and beauty She offers to me.
In fact I was pretty much asleep—pre-occupied in my own personal life adventures and dramas, when my oldest, now college-aged boy, back in grade school began bringing my attention to what he was learning, namely the importance of caring for our environment, our planet.
He would watch me like a hawk. Constantly, as I was about to throw something away, he would screech, “Wait, we need to recycle that one!” It was he who took on the project of creating our makeshift recycle box (the first of many) for the kitchen.
In the beginning, I recycled to humor him—Earth’s small and persistent steward—unaware that this was the beginning of my waking up to a new way of recognizing, being, and appreciating the interdependent living system of which I am an integral part.
Since then, Mother Earth and I have come to know each other very well. She even came to my rescue once at a personal low point in my life.
Today, I consciously make her a part of my everyday practice, whether I am doing my part to better the environment or whether I am enjoying and acknowledging the rich gifts she brings to my everyday life.
Yes, everyday is Earth Day.
When we feel disconnected from nature and the Earth, we may take her gifts for granted.
I believe it is important to deliberately connect with the Earth. When we practice and realize our connectedness, it is my belief that we will finally take care of this swirling blue-green marble in space, as she takes care of us.
Here are some of my favorite ways to connect with gorgeous Mother Earth:
• Sink your toes in the sand and feel the cool watery roughness between your toes. Can you feel the eons of time swirling beneath your feet?
• Hug a tree. Seriously. Did you know a tree will hug you back?!
• Immerse yourself in natural waters—cool creeks, lakes and the mysterious sea—often, and feel how the natural waters run through your own body.
• Breathe in the soil of the earth and feel it bring back ancient memories.
• Spend time walking, hiking, climbing and immersing your self in nature. Notice the treasure chest of wonders that appear before you.
• Observe how tall grasses and the leaves of trees move, almost imperceptibly, as a breeze blows through them. What messages do you hear?
• Walk barefoot often—in the dirt is even better—and feel yourself become grounded.
• Drink in the delicious rays of the sun and remember this light has sustained life from the beginning.
• Look up at the vast stars and feel the peace of how you are connected to infinite time and space. Can you feel the stardust coursing through your veins?
Thank you Planet Earth for reminding me of the interconnectedness of life—in all of its fragility, strength, uniqueness, and perfection. Thank you for enlivening and invigorating me, for bringing me peace. Thank you for allowing me to see anew with wonder, curiosity and excitement. Thank you for putting things in perspective and bringing me back to myself.
May we all remember to connect with the Earth every day, and be her grateful stewards.