“The Earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. We did not weave the web of life, we are merely strands in it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves.” ~Chief Seattle
I think often about the interconnection of all life. However separate we may appear to be, beyond these fleshly vessels we are one. I see my connection to everything around me as part of me. I think of literary theorist Trinh Minh-ha’s idea of the “multiplicity of oneness,” or its opposite, our own US Seal’s motto, e pluribus unum (out of many – one). Either way, the common idea is an idea of oneness, of unity. Practical illustrations which attempt to demonstrate this idea include the disappearing bees, to the strong tempestuous weather which lately occurs more frequently and out of sync with normative patterns. Where will we be if there are no bees to pollinate our plants? What will be the cost if freaky weather responses increase and wreak havoc because of things we do that impact directly or indirectly upon it? Like our own physical body, the earth’s body is impacted by all manner of foreign substances, physical onslaughts against it, even verbal curses made against it. We are still recovering from the impact of the BP spill in southern United States, and who knows how long for Fukushima, Japan? It matters what we do. Somewhere down the line we took the idea of subduing the earth and having dominion over it as license to run roughshod, without considering deeply or long the consequences of our reckless behavior and greedy pursuit of profit.
A variety of studies here and there have posited and shown that we are impacted by the things we put into our body, the physical abuses we endure, even the way we blaspheme against it. How can anything or anybody suffer such indignities indefinitely without an eventual outburst of effect? Eat the wrong things and you may end up with a disease. Subject your body to not enough sleep or exercise and you might become obese. Speak words of hatred about your body and you will wield blows upon your self-esteem. Well, no less so for the earthly body we inhabit. That we even anthropomorphize earth by referring to it as “mother,” suggests we know somewhere within us that it is a sentient being and that we are part of it, suggests that somewhere within us we know better.
Still, we are learning as we go. Some of us are waking up and to use an old cliché, “smelling the coffee.” Sure there are those who mock the efforts made by some to encourage recycling, or stop the toxic dumping into earth’s bloodstream, the seas. Some people still pooh-pooh the idea of global warming. Yet, there are some who are feeling a greater call, who are feeling the vibration and alignment with the earth upon which they live in ways not felt before. These ones feel called to bring honor to the earth, to recognize and respect what it does for us humans and what it is in its own right.
I think I agree with late comedian, George Carlin, when he said,
“The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed.”
And we’ll be gone. We think nothing for the generations to be born upon earth and how what we are doing today will impact them tomorrow, but only for our own self-centered wants. We can’t seem to think big enough or stretch our minds beyond this time and place to consider the bigger picture. But I think it is much better to be in harmony with where we live than a force of destruction against it, or a pesky pest upon it. We can strike a better balance so our sojourn here might be made a little more easy, a little more effortless, so, that like a mother who nurtures, our earthly mother might be allowed to nurture us, so that we might grow in wisdom while we abide upon her, and show her the love a good mother deserves.
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