Friday, July 06, 2018

Friday Ramble - Earth

Earth is a good word for pondering in this shaggy season as we toil in our gardens and tend the sweet beginnings of the harvest to come.  All things, or at least most things, arise from the earth and return to it in time, us included.

The word dates from before 950 CE, and it comes to us through the good offices of the Middle English erthe, the Old English eorthe; the Germanic Erde, Old Norse jĒ«rth, Danosh jord and the Gothic airtha, all springing from the Ancient Saxon eard meaning soil,home, or dwelling. All forms are likely related to the Latin aro, meaning to plough or turn over.

When we say "earth", are we thinking simply of the ground under our feet, of garden plots, orchards, wooded hills, city parks, farm fields and shadowed arroyos?  Are we thinking of wild plums, oak leaves, weeping willows, seeds and sleeping roots below our feet, the granite bones of our little blue planet and its fiery heart beating way down deep in the molten core of the earth?

Skin and blood, bones and hair, the red rivers of our veins, the sinews of the planet, the air we are breathing in and out - they are all connected and part of a vast elemental process, a web. Thoughtless strands in the web that we are, we often forget that we are part of anything at all. 

Once in a while, the simple truth that we are NOT separate shows up and insists we pay attention. It can happen while we are dangling half way up a rock face or seated in a pool of sunlight under a tree in the woods, on a hill somewhere under the summer stars, or on the shore of a favorite lake at sunset. A good sunset or a starry, starry night does it for me every time, and sometimes it even happens while I am parked in the waiting room of my local cancer clinic.

There we are with our feet planted in the dirt and heads in the clouds, not a lofty thought in sight, and out of the blue a scrap of elemental knowing puts in an appearance. Suddenly we know beyond a doubt that we are part of all this and right where we should be. We belong here, our roots, branches, star stuff and every dancing particle - we belong here as much as rivers, mountains, acorns, wild salmon and sandpipers do. Dirt, clouds and stardust, it's all good.

1 comment:

sarah said...

I love that description "shaggy season". I was just thinking about three minutes ago of how we're not separate from the earth - seeing a poster urging us to "become one with nature" as if we aren't already.