Honoring Earth Day

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“Our Mother Earth is the source of all life, whether it be the plants, the two-legged, four-legged, winged ones or human beings.
“The Mother Earth is the greatest teacher, if we listen, observe and respect her.
“When we live in harmony with the Mother Earth, she will recycle the things we consume and make them available to our children and to their children.
“I must teach my children how to care for the Earth so it is there for the future generations.

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“So from now on:

“I realize the Earth is our mother. I will treat her with honor and respect.
“I will honor the interconnectedness of all things and all forms of life. I will realize the Earth does not belong to us, but we belong to the Earth.

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“The natural law is the ultimate authority upon the lands and water. I will learn the knowledge and wisdom of the natural laws. I will pass this knowledge on to my children.
“The mother Earth is a living entity that maintains life. I will speak out in a good way whenever I see someone abusing the Earth. Just as I would protect my own mother, so will I protect the Earth.
“I will ensure that the land, water, and air will be intact for my children and my children’s children – unborn.”
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Anonymous, reprinted from WhiteWolfPack.com

 

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Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970.  I was in grade school, and this new celebration felt like a very big deal to me.  I was happy for all of the efforts the ‘grown-ups’ were making to protect the air, water, land and wildlife.  It felt good. 

This new Earth Day celebration was a ray of hope, a spark of light in an otherwise very dark time in our country.  We were still using unspeakable weapons in Southeast Asia, destroying their forests with Napalm and their people with terror. Nixon and his cronies still controlled the White House.

The first nuclear weapons in modern times had been used against two Japanese cities only 25 years earlier, and the the arms race to develop and test more of these life-destroying weapons was exploding around the planet.

But, we also still had George Harrison and John Lennon in those days, and the millions of voices of the Woodstock Generation raised in song and protest.

So much has happened in these last 47 years.  Our lives have changed in unimaginable ways.  Our country has changed, too.  The Woodstock Generation has mostly spent their lives now in doing what they can, for good or for ill; before losing their voices and their mobility to the natural progression of things.

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And their legacy lives on, in the rest of us ‘youngsters.’  The battles still rage across our planet between the special interests of our age.  There is a basic philosophical divide, as I see it, between those focused on preservation of the environment, sharing and preserving our resources for generations yet to come; and those focused on using up every resource they can to make a profit.

The divide is between those focused on themselves and their own profit and pleasure, and those whose focus and concern expands to include the good of the millions of voiceless plant and animal species , generations yet unborn, and our beautiful planet.

That is a stark oversimplification, I know.  And I would bet that many who read these words disagree with my interpretation of things.

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Good people can disagree.  Well-intentioned people can see things differently.  We each have our own story to tell about life and our experiences, in our own way.

A neighbor said to me just the other day, “The Earth doesn’t have a problem.  The Earth has never had a problem with human beings.  It is the humans who want to continue living on this planet who have the problem.”

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And he is right.  Actually, the more information which leaks out about Mars, and what has happened to that once beautiful planet over the last half a million years, the more we understand how fragile our own planetary biosphere to be.  Perhaps that is why our government has tried to control the many photos of man-made structures on Mars, and evidence of water and the life once living there, so fiercely.

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So what can any of us do?  Each of us can choose something, or somethings, which are in our power to do that will make a positive impact on our biosphere’s, and our own, well-being.  And then, we can raise our own voice, and use the power of our own purse to influence our neighbors, and the greater human community, towards doing something constructive, too.

Here are a few ideas from the Earthday.org site to get us all started:

Create your own ‘Act of Green’

Plant a tree or donate a tree

Eat less meat

Stop using disposable plastic

Reduce your energy footprint

Educate others

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I invite you to celebrate Earth Day 2017 in your own personal way.  Do something positive for yourself, your family, our planet and our future.  It doesn’t have to be something big, fancy or expensive.

Just do something to commit your own “Act of Green,” your own radical act of beauty.

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016-2017

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“I do not think the measure of a civilization

is how tall its buildings of concrete are,

but rather how well its people have learned

to relate to their environment and fellow man.”

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Sun Bear of the Chippewa Tribe

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For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Earth

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Descent

October 31, 2014 color 005

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge:  Descent

Photo by Woodland Gnome 2014

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

March 9 parkway 009

Is it a fierce and angry beast, read to swallow us?

Have you heard the story of the six wise, but blind men?  They were a “committee” of sorts, tasked with describing the elephant which had wandered into their village. 

Is it a pile of dry and papery leaves, needing to be raked?

Is it a pile of dry and papery leaves, needing to be raked?

One felt the elephant’s leg and declared that an elephant is like a mighty pillar.  Another touched its side and declared that an elephant is like a wall. 

Is it a coat rack?

Is it a coat rack?

The blind man who touched the elephant’s ear said an elephant is like a large fan.  The one who touched the tail described the elephant as like a rope.

Tasty buds, reaching for the sky?

Long bony fingers, reaching for the sky?

Each one was right, but none had the entire picture, and so all were ultimately wrong.  It took a sighted man to intervene and settle their argument; one who could perceive the whole picture. 

March 9 parkway 007

Someone had to understand all of the different perspectives, and reconcile them into a meaningful whole.

March 9 parkway 006

That is the trick, you see, for each of us believes that we have the whole picture, much of the time.  

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We see our tiny corner of the world; our personal bit of a relationship; or our own limited view of history.  And from our personal perspective we try to tell the entire story. 

We are often ready to argue with whomever disagrees with us, seeing things from their own perspective.   

Although we may have physical sight, unlike the men in the story; we must remain open to truth from another perspective.

March 9 parkway 019

We can choose to accept our own truth to be like a piece of the puzzle:  a unique perspective on the whole.  If we willingly listen to others as they share their own perspective, eventually our vision will expand.  We will gain a wider perspective, and come ever closer to understanding the truth of things.

Observe how each of these trees appears to be an individual, and yet all grow together, as a single organism, mingling roots as well as branches. 

So  are we interconnected  with others in our families and communities; in truth,  we are one with All.

March 5 2014 parkway birds 072

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

March 9 parkway 008

Weekly Photo Challenge

Five Lovely Trees

Tree Wisdom

More Tree Wisdom

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

December 26 2013 Christmas 070

A joyous sunset, Boxing Day 2013. 

Families still gathered, our little corner of the world is at peace.

This is College Creek, in Williamsburg, Virginia at sunset on December 26.

Bamboo, in the foreground, is still vibrantly green despite our winter weather.

Happy New Year to all!

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