The dream of earth is not life.
The dream of earth is not death.
The dream of earth is renewal, the mixing place of end and start, husk and seed.
Earth’s children, Chaos and Slow Change, call forth the dream in each age. From carbon to oxygen, from single cell to many, from the ocean to the land, the earth renews the whole.
And now we walk here, newly arrived, on mountains eroded by water at the same pace as they grow, in fire-swept forests rising up new saplings, in the field of zinnias, sunflowers, daisies where bird plucks seed from a drying stalk.
Photo by John Laux of west side of Lake MacDonald in Glacier National Park renewing after forest fires.
Learn More: I am writing about both large and small earth changes here, but a seed inspiration is what happens when the earth is allowed to do what it does and Orion magazine’s recent story on what happens to abandoned golf courses.
What is my idea of what is happening right outside my window today …. growth or decay or both? Now think about what is happening in a seasonal, an annual, a millennial context. What shifts (if anything)?
Place yourself in the timespan of the earth’s 3.8 billion year. What comes to mind? How does it make you feel? What do you want to do? What does this invite about your relationship to the earth?
Nature Awareness and Contemplative Practice:
Let a part of your yard go untended (by you) or find a place that was once tended by humans but is no more, observe what happens in there and …
- Observe: Just note what is happening over a period of a week, a month, a season, or a year.
- Reflect: What is the earth doing? What is happening above ground to make this happen? What is happening below ground to make this happen? What are you learning from the earth?
- Respond: What gratitude, prayer, or call to action / inaction arises from your time with this piece of wild earth?
- Just Be with the Earth as it Does What it Does.