Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Stewards of the Land

We are born to the earth, we live on the earth, and when we die we will return to it. Just as our planet rotates around the sun, so do we, in our infinite migrations, rotate around the planet. So why doesn’t the Earth sit more fixedly centered in our thoughts? In my life it’s not a choice. I have nieces and nephews. I have great nieces and nephews even. Knowing that they and their children will live on long after me makes living a life of being kind to the earth important to me.
Over the generations we’ve watched our changing landscape spread out, crawling across the open spaces and clearing away the forested ones. We’ve despaired against the loss of green and wild places as animals became endangered and extinct. And now, it is such a state of how we live that we can’t imagine it any other way. We think that we cannot be a force for change, that one action cannot be a catalyst for renewal. But our bones know that we are people of the earth and they know that is not true.
The earth is not just dirt and bedrock beneath us. It is alive. We were born from its matter and our bodies will decay into its dust when we die. The earth is our Mother, a real and tangible parent beneath us. And mostly, in our short lives, we take little notice of the way we affect change to her. When we run out of room for progress, we build our cities out, abandoning discarded industry to decompose. So we build out, carving more space from the wild, and then we complain when the coyotes, bear, and deer wander our city streets.
What we need to do is to protect the green spaces that are left, from those who would wish to develop them. We are too smart to think that more green spaces will be discovered after we have removed them all. So we have to stop now. We have to become true stewards of the land and watch over the plant and animal life that is left.
Many people are already acting as stewards of the earth. And their pursuit of earth-centered actions have had larger and wondrous effects. Like this video of what happened after wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park. Click here to view the 4 minute video How Wolves Change Rivers.
I’m not talking about a total re-wilding of the earth, though I have to confess, I do love images of nature taking the earth back, like in the films I am Legend, Twelve Monkeys, and The Happening. To my delight, I have even met trees already engaged in the process (see the picture at the top of this post).
Be a steward of the land, no matter what that means to you. Where is the place you can make a change? How can you teach your children to have reverence for the world around them? Maybe you will pick up litter, or plant a garden. Maybe you will feed the birds or rehabilitate wild animals. Maybe you will protest environmental destruction from industry. Maybe you will protect the whales in the sea. Maybe you will be a teacher. Maybe you will plant trees.

Maybe you will sit quietly in the forest and its language. Maybe you will call the crow, sister. Maybe you will call the raccoon, brother. Maybe you will hear the earth singing back to you and maybe you will understand that we are all kin, and that our purpose is to walk softly with the natural world. 

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