Earth is Celebrating


This past weekend there were Earth Day celebrations here and around the world. It seems mother Earth has been doing her own celebrating in our area this Spring. There was all the water of the late Winter, the early warming, then a long period of pleasant but cool days. It has brought out the Spring green and blossoms and wild flowers, and made it all last longer than usual.

The Earth is showing off. Down in Southern Arizona both the wild flowers and succulents were in full bloom this year. It is amazing how verdant, how lush the native flora of the dessert can be.

Up here the grand sheets of green and wild flowers filled wide swaths of color that made vistas look rich. Yes, I know many of those wild flowers turn to weeds in the summer, but for now they provide great spills of color.

The Earth has been in her full regalia. She’s been putting on her best presentation. The other evening, as I watched her play with colors splashed all over the sky, I heard a bird song I wasn’t familiar with that sounded almost like a laugh. I couldn’t help but laugh back, look at her sunset, and think, “what a show off”.  Later, a quarter moon lounging at a lazy angle was already casting shadows, though a million bright stars still shown in a sky of varying depths of indigo.

With all the colors splashed on her hill sides, she has her makeup on and is batting her eyes at us. Enticing us to come out and play and fall in love with her all over again. What a flirt.

In a museum recently I saw a collection of geodes carved open and lit to show the intense colors and crystal facets inside. It’s like she’s playing a teasing little game with us, hiding some of her prettiest sites inside rocks deep in the ground, as if to say, “bet you can’t find these”.

We are made up of the dust of the Earth, right? When it is bursting with green and thrilled to be springing back to life, how can we help but to feel it too?

The Earth is never irrational. That is one of the joys of being with it, as opposed to all the hustle and hassle of daily life. That doesn’t mean it’s always nice. If you get lost in the dessert without water you will pay the price. But that’s predictable, not irrational or capricious.

Through the food that mothers eat we indirectly rise up out of the dust of the Earth. We walk on it for a while, then our bodies disintegrate back into it. Like bubbles rising up out of soapy water, hovering, and dissolving back into the water. We eventually become part of the nutrients of some other life, part of the green of the next Spring.

Most traditional religions revolve around worshiping some greater being. It would be an understandable assumption to think that an agnostic who loves the Earth is worshiping it. There are people who do. But it is possible to revere the Earth without worshiping it. Like the relationship between an adult child and an elder parent. They both know they are adults and equals, though the one still deserves additional reverence. So it is with the Earth. It does deserve our reverence, though at core we and the Earth are just different aspects of nature.

At the moment, that greater aspect that we came from is celebrating. She’s saying, “Come on. You know you want to. I won’t tell anybody. Come out and play!”