"For the beauty of the earth ..." is a hymn which was quoted at my Unitarian Church service this last Sunday by our amazing minister, Wendy Williams.
The words and tune are so stuck in my head, but it's a good sort of stuck.
I have been accused of being a tree-hugger. I do hug trees, they sort of hug back if you take your time and feel their energy.
This week a violent storm came right over our house, and a huge branch from the very large maple in our backyard came crashing down - the tree had the kindness and grace to help deposit this branch exactly in between my garden (where it would have destroyed my squash, garlic, lettuce, and herbs) and our hot tub. There was a narrow alley of about ten feet, and here is where the huge branch landed. No damage was done, gratefully. Thanks to our majestic maple for this kindness.
It seems so obvious to me that we live in a system, that all of us are dependent on every other part to have the balance we need to thrive. If we dirty our water and air and soil, our food is dirtied, our lungs and skin and cells are compromised. If we keep making plastic and dumping it into the ground and the oceans, there must be a reckoning at some point. It just seems so simple to me to pay attention, but it's about habits. I tried for a whole year to not use ONE single plastic bag. If I found myself in the store at the cashier without a bag, I made myself go back out to my car to get one.
That was last year, and already this year, I have found my habit creeping back of accepting single use plastic bags instead of getting my reusable bag. It's such a small habit, and if we all never used single use bags, it would have a huge positive effect on the oceans and landfills.
How do we stay intentional?
How do we remember to be vigilant and thoughtful about not making any more bit of waste than we need to, to be thoughtful of consuming less, protecting the parts of the earth that need our protection?
When a species is extinct, it is gone forever.
In our busy world of go go go, it's just easier to focus on the small daily tasks of living life. Saving the planet is too big a chore.
But I am working at remembering, remembering that for the beauty of the earth, I owe my life, that the balance of all of us depends on all of us working as a team.
Today I get to go to a high mountain pass in the Rockies to meet a friend. We plan on walking to a waterfall, and decompressing from all the stress of life. ( and I am aware that I am using fossil fuel to make this day trip.) I hope I can pay back the beauty some how, and be a good steward.
For the beauty of the earth, I am so very grateful.
Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth
For all our sins against her:
For our violence and poisonings
Of her beauty.
Let us remember within us
The ancient clay,
Holding the memory of seasons,
The passion of the wind,
The fluency of water,
The warmth of fire,
The quiver-touch of the sun
And shadowed sureness of the moon.
That we may awaken,
To live to the full
The dream of the Earth
Who chose us to emerge
And incarnate its hidden night
In mind, spirit, and light.