Wednesday, April 22, 2009

In Praise of the Earth (For Earth Day)

Let us bless
The imagination of the Earth.
That knew early the patience
To harness the mind of time,
Waited for the seas to warm,
Ready to welcome the emergence
Of things dreaming of voyaging
Among the stillness of land.

And how light knew to nurse
The growth until the face of the Earth
Brightened beneath a vision of color.

When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.

Let us thank the Earth
That offers ground for home
And holds our feet firm
To walk in space open
To infinite galaxies.

Let us salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed's self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.

The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.

The kindness of the Earth,
Opening to receive
Our worn forms
Into the final stillness.

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.

John O'Donohue,
(from To Bless the Space Between Us)

The Old Wild Mother (Gaia/Earth) enfolds us, and She is all around us, providing us with air to breathe and good dark earth to walk upon, with nourishment for body and spirit, with wonders too vast and multitudinous to contain or describe in a blog post or a portfolio of innumerable quartos.

I shall spend this day as I always do, walking around with the camera slung around my neck, my pockets full of lenses and treats for the wild creatures Spencer and I will meet in our travels. We will pick up every single item of detritus we find in the hedgerows and lanes and grassy common areas, and we will give thanks for the great good privilege of being here. In other words, this day is much like any other day. Here's to you, Mama, from one of your most passionate devotees, her tribe and her companions.


Wendi said...

Thank you. Coming here is always the best part of my day. Happy Earth Day.

Kentishmaid said...

Happy Earth Day, and may your wanderings be full of unexpected pleasures. My day was spent tending my garden, listening to the beauty of birdsong, delighting in the return of swallows and hearing a cuckoo for the first time this year. Mother Earth at her best.

Rebecca Hecking said...

How beautiful. Instead of becoming just another commercial holiday, wouldn't it be nice to have it become a holy day instead?

Anonymous said...

You are the best, treating our Mother Earth as if it were Earth Day every single time you spend it outdoors. I've always known you to be so kind and patient and loving for the Earth. On our rambles at lunch time, picking up debris that did not belong outdoors. My hat goes off to you on this Earth day, and may we have many like you.
Your good friend Louise

kate smudges said...

What a beautiful post! The poem is so inspiring. Hope you are enjoying spring. Happy Earth Day!

Printemps said...

Happy Earth Day your blog brings to all of us...