My first true love might surprise you. It wasn't Johnny Depp, even though I had a plethora of 21 Jump Street posters decorating my walls. It wasn't Judd Nelson with his bad ass attitude in Breakfast Club. Jon Bon Jovi? Close, especially after I shook his hand at a concert when I was like twelve, but no cigar...
It was my mother. My earth mother that is.
I loved everything that was part of the natural world as a child. I spent many weekends and summer days in solitude floating on a lake which started out man-made, then quickly got filled by a hurricane. Mama was just reminding us who was boss.
We would take walks to an uninhabited point that was covered in blinding bunches of daffodils. Thousands of them...there wasn't a year gone by after that discovery that I wasn't standing at the door ready to go to 'the point' every spring.
I was appalled at the treatment of animals, at an incredibly young age. I remember screaming at the top of my lungs when I saw an animal testing report for the first time on T.V., my fragile heart was devastated. I was a vegetarian by the time I was eighteen, it would have been sooner if I had anything to say about it.
I cried the first time I saw the majestic mountains of Colorado. A place I moved to on a whim, yet had never been to. I couldn't possibly have prepared myself for such beauty and the amazing show of strength Gaea had put forth.
I was pissed while writing a paper in college about the mountain gorilla and finding out how there were only 300 left in the wild. What?
I learned to search for birds incessantly after reading Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams. Now I am blessed every day with at least one hawk sighting, by me or my children.
The earth never ceases to amaze and inspire me. I wish I had more time to just lay in her arms, float in her rivers, roll in her grass, smell her trees. I wish I had more time to rally on her behalf, drive less, lobby our representatives, who often seem just not to get it, and pay tribute beyond the political realm.
It isn't just about economics. It is about justice. It is about sanity. My sanity and that of the worlds. It is about humanity's bigger role as part of the system it relies on for life. It is about responsibility and love, passion and our truest purposes on this human journey.
The blue planet has a heartbeat all it's own, so today I pay homage to her. Mother Earth. Sending my gratitude far and wide for her many gifts. The air that fills my lungs, the dirt that cakes under my fingernails as I work in the garden, the snow that blankets the range to the west, her mountain streams and desert wonderlands, her tapestry in blooms and her painted sunsets. I am awestruck by the size of the giant redwoods while equally so for the green canopy of the earth's many rain forests. I rejoice in the oceans full of life that cleanse our spirits, and the peaceful solitude that exists in the song of a bird. I take a moment of pause to feel the wind on my neck, understanding in my soul the billions of processes a day that must happen for me to merely exist.
Oh my Mother, my mother, may we ever fully understand your grace...