I was looking for an Earth Day message that encompassed all the things this holiday makes me feel, and this comes close. I love the Earth, all of it, not just the big beautiful mammals that get the majority of our attention. I love the rocks and dirt, the creeks, the clouds, the wind, and all the little-loved and little-noticed animals that make life possible for the rest of us. Worms and bugs that aerate the soil and break down waste so that we’re not slogging around in corpses and feces, and pollinate plants so that we can have fruits to eat and oxygen to breathe. I love the living beings that are here for their own purposes, and don’t actively contribute to human interests, just journeying through life on this same planet with us. I love the common little finches outside my window, even if they are looked down on as non-native, because they are here, hopping around and chirping, and curiously peeking in the window at me, while I peek out at them, and they put a smile on my face.
In Urglaawe, there is the concept of the Sacred Promise, the idea that, as beings with enormous power to impact the world and beings around us, we have a spiritual responsibility to exercise good stewardship (an Urglaawe virtue) to care for this world. In return, these plants and animals, as well as the sunlight, water, air, and soil, give us all that we need to live. It’s important to contemplate your personal impact on the world around you, and consider ways that you can make it a more positive one, more in keeping with the Sacred Promise and the virtue of Stewardship.
I am thankful to these beings, these fellow spirit travelers, the plants, the animals, the rocks, the living Earth Herself, today and every day. Happy Earth Day!