We are Stewards of the Earth

The world is not a problem to be solved; it is a living being to which we belong. The world is part of our own self and we are a part of its suffering wholeness. Until we go to the root of our image of separateness, there can be no healing. And the deepest part of our separateness from creation lies in our forgetfulness of its sacred nature, which is also our own sacred nature.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

What if we knew we were here to steward the earth as if it was a valuable resource, as if we needed to hold it as a newborn? What if we believed the land was sacred? That we are here for it, not it is here for us.

The beautiful fall leaves, the white-capped mountains, the awe-inspiring ocean waves, the cactus decorated deserts, are here to do the work they do. All of this is not here just for our eyes to see what is beautiful.  I am not sure beauty is an idea in nature’s awareness. Each living thing is a participant in the ecology of our earth.

And, that is what is so beautiful. Nature does what it does, and does it so incredibly well. Nature just is, no questions asked, no pondering right and wrong. It is.

What if the question of are we here for the earth or the earth is here for us is the wrong question?

What if we are here for the earth, and the earth is here for us? That is the middle way. That way offers me comfort. A comfort I need to lean on when I hear statistics about how soon the ocean will be more plastic than fish. Or the ice caps melting are causing polar bears to find their way to civilization, or news of land going underwater in England and elsewhere.

The inconvenience of waking up is so uncomfortable. It is uncomfortable to be the witness, it is uncomfortable to be a messenger. It is just completely and utterly uncomfortable.

But this discomfort is far less than the pain I feel over the fact that my grandchildren will likely not see the earth as I have.  I want to tread lightly here, as I don’t want to scare the upcoming generations about what we are leaving them.  They will have to take precautions about the air, the food, and the water. While in my growing up, we thought we could be so carefree.  After all, my childhood was lived in the wake of WWII, when millions of lives were taken. So the celebration of the war being over permitted us to live the “good” life and not think about our footprints, the legacy we leave for this amazing earth.

I keep trying to land in something uplifting and can’t get there.

So this is my plea and my need for community that supports the action of waking up.

We have to wake up. We have to.

The world is not a problem to be solved; it is a living being to which we belong. The world is part of our own self and we are a part of its suffering wholeness. Until we go to the root of our image of separateness, there can be no healing. And the deepest part of our separateness from creation lies in our forgetfulness of its sacred nature, which is also our own sacred nature.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

2 thoughts on “We are Stewards of the Earth

  1. Anonymous

    Lovely. This is my third attempt at a cogent reply. Each one has disappeared. WordPress hates me, so each reply gets shorter. ‘Lovely’ must therefore convey more than words.

    Like

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