Blue Marble

Could there be any­thing more worth­while celebrating? 

I grew up in the Pacif­ic North­west on twelve acres of land, half in pas­ture and orchard, half in woods. As a child, nature was my chief com­pan­ion, so to pick out only one day, Earth Day, to hon­or our remark­able island in space, this blue mar­ble, seems now iron­ic and almost super­flu­ous. Should­n’t we always be liv­ing some kind of hymn of praise to sun­light, run­ning streams, the cycle of days and nights and sea­sons as we turn and turn through a wilder­ness of stars?

Unofficial Earth Day Flag

It demands, does­n’t it, that we find the liv­ing con­nec­tions between the reach­es of the human spir­it and the reach­es of all that which sur­rounds us. A friend of mine many years ago said: “We think we know what nature is because we have eyes, ears, touch, taste, and smell. But we only have these five sens­es, so we expe­ri­ence only so much. Our knowl­edge is lim­it­ed. If we had more sens­es, nature would seem even more com­plex to us, and that much more beau­ti­ful as well.” So, yes, we have the five, and intu­itive­ly, I believe we know there is more, an invis­i­ble, “unsensed” more. Indige­nous wis­dom and poet­ry seem to best tap these unsensed and unknown aspects.

Unlike oth­er reli­gious tra­di­tions which cel­e­brate at sep­a­rate times to every­day life a rev­e­la­to­ry event in the long dis­tant past, the Dream­time of Abo­rig­i­nal spir­i­tu­al prac­tice is cel­e­brat­ed and lives in what­ev­er exists and tran­spires in the present — in all aspects of Cre­ation, in an eter­nal now. In this sense all time exists in the present moment and all life — the Spir­it Ances­tors, the Earth, the Cos­mos and all species — are aspects of an inher­it­ed divine order and are thus sacra­men­tal. There is no ‘thing’ in Abo­rig­i­nal con­scious­ness that is ‘noth­ing’. There is no aspect, no crea­ture — be it a dung bee­tle, a poi­so­nous snake or a human being — that does not have its place and its role to play in the ordained sacred pat­tern of Cre­ation. There are no gods, no reli­gious hier­ar­chies, no seg­re­ga­tion of ‘good’ and ‘bad’, no unsavoury bits, and no sep­a­ra­tion between the phys­i­cal and the spir­i­tu­al or nature, human­i­ty, and cul­ture. All came into being at the one time, and all of these dimen­sions are reflec­tions of each other.

–Anna Voigt and Nevill Drury, Wis­dom from the Earth: The Liv­ing Lega­cy of the Abo­rig­i­nal Dreamtime

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hun­dred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft ani­mal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Mean­while the world goes on.
Mean­while the sun and the clear peb­bles of the rain
are mov­ing across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the moun­tains and the rivers.
Mean­while the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are head­ing home again.
Who­ev­er you are, no mat­ter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and excit­ing â€”
over and over announc­ing your place
in the fam­i­ly of things.

— Mary Oliv­er, New and Select­ed Poems (Vol­ume One)

Blue Mar­ble Day. A day to see and hon­or the stun­ning pat­terns of the uni­verse that sur­round us and our place in the fam­i­ly of things. Let’s learn how to part­ner with those pat­terns, what is yet unknown and what is pos­si­ble. Sure­ly we can learn togeth­er how to save this thing.

My Daughter

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