The Glorious Trespass of Simply Loving the Earth

Ryan Serito

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“Our most urgent need at the present time is for a reorientation of the human venture toward an intimate experience of the world around us. If we would go back to our primary experience of any natural phenomena – on seeing the stars scattered across the heavens at night, on looking out over the ocean at dawn, on seeing the colors of the oaks and maples and poplars in autumn, on hearing a mockingbird sing in the evening, or breathing the fragrance of the honeysuckle while journeying through a southern lowland – we would recognize that our immediate response to any of these experiences is a moment akin to ecstasy. There is wonder and reverence and inner fulfillment in some overwhelming mystery. We experience a vast new dimension to our own existence.” ~ Thomas Berry, The Sacred Universe
(from the April 2022 Reflection of The Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural World) http://www.beholdnature.org

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Those of us who are part of an industrialized-capitalist-consumption culture are immersed every day in a multitude of situations that program us to consider ourselves Separate — separate from Earth & all her beings, including others who also call themselves “human.” For example, as I was scrolling through free photos of “person in nature,” I immediately noticed that most of the shots centered on humans atop some kind of peak or pinnacle or other. Many of them were hikers with all sorts of expensive equipment. This is a small example of how our “modern” culture places humans (mostly, in the photos, of European ancestry) & their technology (gorgeous backpacks, etc.) at the top of everything. It conjures up (visually & metaphorically) the cultural belief that Earth’s community is a pyramid, rather than the interconnected web that we know it to be — a pyramid where the humans are always at the top.

What joy to jump over those seemingly impregnable walls of separation and to once more find ourselves where we have always been — in a world of possibilities both ancient and new, embedded in Earth’s community!

As I’m sure others have said before me, perhaps the best possible form of resistance and revolution is simply to love Earth and all her beings & to act from love, kindness and (not transitory “happiness” but) indestructible joy!

As we're  surrounded by the symphonic bursts of Life in the Spring, 
it's an easy time to join in the celebration 
and to explore this active resistance further.  
The best time is always now - 
The best place is always here -
for we are always in the midst of this precious Earth community.

Sheshagiri KM — India

As so often, Mary Oliver says it best:

            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 rain
 are moving across the landscapes,
 over the prairies and the deep trees,
 the mountains and 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 -
 over and over announcing your place
 in the family of things."

3 thoughts on “The Glorious Trespass of Simply Loving the Earth

  1. One small thing but it has stayed with me for over 65 years: when my Dad taught me to garden, he told me to always use my hands, “manos en la tierra “(hands in dirt in Spanish). Do not put on gloves, to plant seedlings, to weed, to care for what you have planted because it is important to fee the earth, to feel how the sun warms it. To carefully use your fingers to spread good compost, carefully applied. He always said that touch is one of the most important senses. If the earth senses your caring hand, it will respond in kind…I have never forgotten this simple truth.

    Like

  2. Ecstasy. this word is a living word for me. it is here. in the ordinary. more and more
    and i am beyond grateful for this. and the Washington Post story you shared. Making
    it more and more my Life. just my Life. Thank you

    Like

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