The Planet Earth

Illustration by Khara Scott-Bey from Big Topics at Midnight

How would we live if we remembered that although we might live in houses or apartments, in subdivisions, small towns, downtown or the country, we have only one home under our feet —planet Earth— a home we share with our global neighbors now and which will be our legacy to future generations?

Photo by Noa Mohlabane

For much of my life, I saw the natural world as primarily a backdrop. It was just there. More than the green grass, the trees and flowers, I noticed the hot asphalt street under my bare feet in summer, the regulated temperature of my home and the cars that took me where I wanted to go.

Religion, particularly my Christian tradition, didn’t help. In most of the churches I’ve attended, care of Earth and delight in her nature were rarely mentioned.

Nevertheless, we are creatures of this planet. To live disconnected from nature is not only costly to our spirits—the vastness and pace of creation’s unfolding gives a critical counterbalance to the speed and inward focus of our individual lives—it also separates us from awareness or concern for the present and future vitality of our home, Earth.

We are all roommates on this planet. Care for our home planet, just like care for our individual homes, must take into account the needs of all who live here.

It matters how we view and treat the places where we live, including “this fragile earth, our island home.”*

Continue the Big Topic Conversations

I continue to dive deeper into the earth on my Big Topics Blog:

Nature: Memoir #2
Moon: Memoir #3
Two Peas in a Pod

Photo by Judy Bork

Places that support my Earthbound journey:

Portland City Parks, especially Laurelhurst Park, where I love to walk under the towering trees.

Monterey Bay, especially the oceanside path in Pacific Grove, California, near Lover’s Point, where I’ve wandered since I was a girl.

Noticing and falling in love with the Earth didn’t happen through businesses or organizations or even books. Since my list of favorite sites or trees around the globe would be a little long, I’ve just listed two books that have been essential to knowing myself as connected to the Earth.

Photo by Judy Bork

Earth Reading Corner:

Derrick Jensen. A Language Older Than Words(Vermont: Chelsea Green, 2004)
Jensen’s profound connection with the Earth, and the parallels he sees between domestic violence in the family and ecological destruction, moved me deeply.

Ann Linnea and Lyanda Lynn Haupt. Keepers of the Trees: A Guide to Re-Greening North America (New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2010)
This book contains both beautiful photos and hopeful stories of people supporting our Earth’s trees with their care and innovation.

* Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, Eucharistic Prayer C

This is the story of a bold journey to self-knowledge. It is also a tale of how to find and to bind together with partners in sustainable service to a vision for building a new world.
Laurie Emrich, Lead Partner, National Progressive Leadership Campus

Returning to her ancestral lands in North Carolina, Nancy calls on the spirits of her ancestors and those her family enslaved to help heal the suffering of yesterday and today. Courageous and compelling!
AJ Johnston, M.Div., Executive Director of Mindful Peacebuilding

Painting by Khara Scott-Bey
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