WE DO NOT OWN THE EARTH…
WE OWE THE EARTH…
Her alarm goes off at 4 AM. Every morning she is up before most people, not because she has to. It’s because she wants to. Some people think she’s crazy, nonetheless, those people really don’t know her. It is in the early morn before man begins to stir, that she finds herself.
At the back door of her house she dons on her coat, hat and mittens. Even though it is April, the weather has been unseasonably cold. She doesn’t mind. The cool air fills her lungs as she walks outside. Every morning it is the same ritual, nonetheless, it is a ritual that means the world to her.
Just outside the door, she pauses. With a dish filled with shelled peanuts and a bag of crackers, she looks towards the sky… “For the buddies…” she silently says as an offering to the wildlife in her yard.
A few feet away, a squirrel patiently waits. It sits on its hunches with its paws curled towards its chest. She smiles at the squirrel and then says “Good morning my little friend…” before tossing a couple peanuts towards the critter. She sets the dish on the deck and then looks up to let her gaze flit over the branches of the silver maple tree in her yard. She is looking for her Blue Jay friend, one she named ‘Harry.’ He has yet to arrive. No worries, she knows he’ll visit soon enough.
She walks over to the south yard and pauses. She bends down to the earth to place her hands upon the ground. “Mother Earth, please accept my apology for the damage I have done to you. Please help me to be mindful of my actions, especially those that will harm you. I apologize for the garbage I have placed in the garbage bin and I pray the refuse company recycles everything I have placed in the recycle bin…” It is a prayer she prays each week while asking for forgiveness from Mother Earth on garbage pick-up day. It is a start, but she knows it’s not enough.
Her morning tasks bring her to the bird feeders. This morning is cold so she places more crackers out for her buddies – the winged ones and the fur creatures. Her morning tasks do not end there. She checks the bird baths to make sure they are clean and full of water. Then she walks over to Henry, a Catalpa tree in her yard. “Good morning Henry…” she says before giving the tree a big hug. In her mind, there is nothing more sacred than hugging a tree…
Indigenous cultures believe that what we do today affects the next seven generations. Take a moment to think about that. Seven generations from now, our actions at this moment will affect their lives. Now think back to your ancestors…what they did and the actions they took affected our lives.
A perfect example of the cause and affects of a generation is found in what has been dubbed as The Greatest Generation – those who lived through the years of World War II. Men marched off to boot camp and then off to war to fight an evil far greater than they had ever known. Women were called from their kitchens to work in munitions plants and other jobs that served the war effort. Even children helped by scrounging for scrap metal, milkweed, and other items to aid in the war effort. Sure the core of their actions was the war effort, but if you take a closer look you will see the continuing stages of caring for Mother Earth.
During WWII, Americans were not able to have full access to certain products such as sugar and metal. Metal was recycled into items for the war like bullets, tanks, airplanes and more. Most people planted what were called Victory Gardens. Any available land was turned into vegetable gardens to produce food to eat as most canned food was sent to the soldiers fighting in the war. If you are lucky enough to see a piece of paper from the era, you will notice it states “Please use both sides and recycle.”
If we travel deeper into history we will find the Pagans and the Celts. As much as Christianity would like us to believe that both groups of people were devil worshipers, they weren’t! In fact, both groups of people were care takers of our planet Earth. They did so by following the seasons and working with Earth and not claiming ownership as Christians today do.
So how did we go from caretakers of earth to destructors?
We cannot put all the blame on one group of people, but we must put the blame on all of us!
The generation who survived WWII was a generation that went without. Prior to WWII our country and much of the world went through the Depression. Life was difficult and if our society were to go through that again it would be pandemonium. Gun violence would overtake the natural way of things. Nonetheless, back prior to WWII people used all they own and then sold it off to someone else to use. Take for an example an everyday jean jacket. Back in the 1930’s a person would wear the jean jacket until it had holes in it, then they would sew it up and wear it until they could not mend the jacket any more. It is then they would sell it off to some less fortunate who would wear it until it literally fell off their backs! Is this something you would do today? Chances are – no!
My generation, two post WWII, grew up with some of the same circumstances passed down from the Greatest Generation.
Yes, much of this has since gone the way of the dodo bird. But there are other things we can still be doing.
DO NOT SPRAY! I repeat – do not spray, use fertilizer, pesticide or any kind of spray possible! It takes 13 years for the ground to return to its natural state! Think about that – 13 years! If you speak with any herbalist they will inform you that the weeds that are growing in your yard are there for a reason. A perfect example of this is found in Ground Ivy, also known as Creeping Charlie. You may consider this plant a nuisance, but in reality it is a benefit to your yard. If Ground Ivy appears it may mean you have toxic metals in your ground. Ground Ivy is one of many plants that loves to cleanse the soil of toxins. Everyone thinks dandelions are simply ugly. In reality the dandelion is quite the beneficial herb for humans. For the planet, the dandelion is one of the first flowers to provide food for the pollinators such as bees. Bees of all kinds are one of the key elements that allows us to live.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to help save our planet is by not – NOT – eating meat, dairy or eggs! What? Now you are crazy! Truth is cows, pigs, and chickens are the leading cause of many of the diseases humans suffer from. Not only that - RAISING ANIMALS FOR FOOD IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF RAINFOREST DESTRUCTION, SPECIES EXTINCTION, OCEAN DEAD ZONES AND FRESH WATER CONSUMPTION. 10 Million pigs in North Carolina produce the waste equal to 100 Million humans! Raising one cow for consumption produces more waste and uses more water in one month than one human does in one year! 80% of all pharmaceutical antibiotics made in the USA to animal agriculture! 93% of dioxin exposure comes from eating animal products. The leading cause of cancer is dairy. All of these statistics can be found in documentaries not paid for by the food and drug administration or the egg and dairy council. Learn the truth!
When the sun goes down to close out another day, she walks back outside to complete another ritual. This ritual is to give thanks. “I thank you for this day…I thank you for the beauty of this day…I thank you for the earth I live on…I thank you for the air I breathe…I thank you for the fire that keeps me warm, cooks my food and the fire in my soul…I thank you for the water above, the water below, the water around me and the water within me…” she states while facing the four directions. It is not a wicca ritual, but a general ritual of gratitude. With that she gives Henry a hug good night while thanking him for all he has given her…the fresh air she breathes. Why does she do this? She is a tender of Mother Earth and all who reside upon her.
WHAT WILL YOU DO TODAY?
Songs To Celebrate Earth:
Beautiful Night - Bellamy Brothers
Blue Birds Calling - The Gentlemen of Bluegrass
Bluebird - Alan Jackson
Day Down - Noam Pikelny
Hold Up The Sky - Mary Chapin Carpenter
Little Big Sky - Susan Cattaneo
Modern Day Mountain Man - Bryan Ragsdale
Mountains - Mark Jones & Twenty Paces
Mussell Shell - Shawn Lane & Richard Bennett
Planet Her - Craig Morgan
Shade Tree Fix-It Man - Merle Haggard
Someday - Clint Black
Stone Soup - Andy May
That's Music To Me - Craig Campbell
The Old Oak Tree - Bobby Osborne
Turn It Off -Eric Durrance
Water -Brad Paisley
Waterfall - Dwight Yoakam
What Did You Do Today - The Boxmasters
What The World Needs - Wynonna
A Northwoods Country Mother's Day...
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