If your heart is heavy, if you feel exhausted from it all, plant your fingers in the soil of our Mother Earth, breathe in her breath that gently touches your skin as it passes, and walk barefoot on her body.
Let our Mother heal you. And let us care for her in return. This exchange of nurturing is what she needs now, as do we.
I share this poem written by a late, great elder of our time, Thomas Berry.
By Thomas Berry
To be seen in her loveliness
to be tasted in her delicious fruits
to be listened to in her teaching
to be endured in the severity of her discipline
to be experienced as the maternal source whence we come
We stand on the shore of a large lake. Each of us dives into the lake and, for a brief moment, submerge ourselves in the waters of mother Earth. We reemerge back onto the shore and turn to see the ripples we have created that will remain long after we have left.
Someone once asked Gandhi what his life message was. He answered that his life was his message.
No matter who we are, we all have an impact on the world around us that will remain long after we are gone, sometimes for generations.
Some words and actions can wound for generations. Some can be so searing that they carve a new trajectory into a family’s destiny. Others can heal. The message of our lives is how we live in our mundane days.
Perhaps one has stripped the cultural blinders off and lived against the grain. Maybe teaching that the Creator, God, Gaia, whatever name one calls the breath of life, is not found in some distant, off-planet place of the gods. It is found everywhere on Earth. It is heard in birdsongs, felt in the roots of the trees communicating under our feet, seen in the fearful eyes of animals whom we have excluded from our circle of compassion.
These people have the challenging task of carving out a new future, and many are doing this now in ways both large and small. And how might a deep dive into the collective human shadow and reemergence into the light change one’s destiny? And change the fate of this planet?
We can pray to our ancestors for wisdom and thank them for their lessons, but we must remember that we who are alive today will soon be the ancestors. And when those not yet born stand in the ripples of our lives, what will they say to us?
It is not an easy or trivial thing to be the caregivers of the Earth.