Earth Day 2016! The celebration of Earth Day started in 1970, and that led to the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts being passed within the next few years. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring initiated the environmental awakening in 1962, and near the end of her seminal work, she says this: “The ‘control of nature’ is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man.”
During the 100 years and more before her time, foul, polluted air and water were regarded by industrialists as the signs of prosperity and sold that way to everyone else. Fortunately, not everyone bought the bullshit. It should have been stopped when it started, but when people won’t listen to their own hearts, they live their ego and they want, want, want. Those who believe that “nature is for the convenience of man” are fools and are not living with nature; they are living against her.
When we are living with nature, we realize, as Carson said, that we are “sharing our earth with other creatures” and we have “the awareness that we are dealing with life.” Anyone who takes stands for destroying any element of nature—underground reservoirs, soil, rivers, lakes, seas, any species—that person is broken.
Native Americans understood this; they got it. Oh, if you ask me would I like to live like the peoples of past centuries — hell, no. But science and nature and progress are not incompatible. The decision to listen to your heart or to listen to your ego, however, is, and when profit is the sole motive, ego is the motivator. A Cree proverb says, “Only when the last tree has died, the last river been poisoned, and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”
We can eliminate enough of Nature that we could eventually eliminate us. Another Native American proverb says goes something like this: “The frog doesn’t drink up the lake in which he lives.”
Since it is still National Poetry Month, I could not possibly leave out the wisdom of Walt Whitman on this issue. How fitting for today is “A Song of the Rolling Earth!” God, the whole poem, but I’ll pick the parts that deal with the relationship of our hearts and earth. “A song of the rolling earth, and of words according,/…the substantial words are in the ground and sea, / They are in the air, they are in you.” We are integrally linked with the earth in the expression of self.
“Air, soil, water, fire — those are words, / I myself am a word with them…The workmanship of souls is by those inaudible words of the earth.” We need to see self reflected and spoken in the earth. What would Mother Earth speak of us today?
Whitman goes on to say, “I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him or her who shall be complete, / The earth remains jagged and broken only to him or her who remains jagged and broken.”
How we personally treat the earth reveals the extent of our jaggedness and brokenness, at least partially. If we have not discovered Self, we are, indeed, in need of becoming whole, in need of repair. If we are in tune with our own heart, if we have awakened to Self, then we are whole and the wholeness of this earth and universe are ours.
May you be whole and healthy this Earth Day and add to the health and wholeness of this earth.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!