Caring for Earth

Sunset over IslandsSome children pray this grace:

“Earth, who gives to us this food, Sun, who makes it ripe and good,
Dearest Earth, dearest Sun,
We won’t forget what you have done.”

Can we make this prayer our own? Are we ready to pledge that we won’t forget our debt of gratitude? Earth supplies us with all good gifts: nourishment, water, minerals, fresh air, fire, beauty. When we remember this, we become mindful again in our attitudes and actions. We choose food that’s healthful for us and sustainable for Earth. We pick up litter to show our respect for our surroundings. We question assumptions we’ve grown up with: For example, do we really need to go out and buy new gifts for the people on our holiday list? Could we instead give to a charity in their honor or pass along to them from our shelves a book we’ve loved? We apply such principles not only to our personal lives, but also to our political choices.

Butterfly on a flowerLiving on our Earth, so mistreated that we can no longer drink her waters and often cannot breathe her air, we need to take action. But we also need to slow down and fully appreciate her abundance. We can take at least a little time every day to be outdoors and open ourselves to nature’s gentle teachings. Or if we live in a city environment from which nature seems to have run and hid, we can grow and cherish indoor plants, take periodic retreats in wilder places, and do all we can locally to create and sustain parks.

Through our mindful attitudes and actions, we express our gratefulness. And Earth, grateful in return, will surely bless us with her own healing.

Gratefulness for Water - A short practice session that will help renew your appreciation for this most common yet most essential element.

You can also listen to this soothing, expressive Water Blessing (free mp3; 8 MB) from Annette Cantor's Songs to the Earth CD.  Click here to visit Annette's website.

Caring for Earth message board - Tell others what you do and let yourself be inspired by how others care for Earth.

more Caring for Earth links and resources