Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hope for the Healing of the Earth

Ecologists are discovering that when wetland areas are restored, having been used for nearly 100 years for agricultural purposes, that the land bounces back amazingly quickly. While some native species are reintroduced, many spring back to life on their own, having waited all this time in the soil seed banks.

This shows us the wisdom of the planet. She can bounce back - if (a big if) we can follow her ways and let a wetland be a wetland, she can gracefully and fairly quickly restore balance. The question, of course, is how to let a wetland be a wetland when we need to grow food, build houses, and pave streets. We - and she - have to share.

Providing habitat for native species in yards is key. Get rid of lawns, plant native plants, provide water features and shelter. Building paths for wildlife where there are freeways helps, too. Urban permaculture offers exciting opportunities for integrating food with everyday life and reducing our impact. Of course green building, habitat restoration, and simple things like riding bikes all helps.

Finally, for those of us who honor the earth as sacred and alive, prayer, ritual, and attunement with non-humans also helps heal our relationship with the planet. In conversation with the earth we can be given ideas and tools for sharing and balance. Right now, as you read this, look out the window. Rest your eyes on a tree or another natural being. Let your mind relax. Let your energy and attention reach out to the tree. Sit with that feeling for as long as you like. What happens in your body? What might happen in the world were we all to relate to non-humans this way?

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