Renewing our strengths to strengthen and heal our Earth

One of Earth’s remarkable gifts is the cycle of life that Nature regenerates.  In a sense all Life recycles.  All life–including human life, from dust to dust, recycles.

Metaphorically, a kind of recycling is revealed as the Earth rotates, and sunrise lights each day; moonrise brightens night.  Such a natural reality can boost one’s spirit of renewal.  At this time, the week of the People’s Climate March, Flood Wall Street,  the UN people’s summit and momentum on the divestment from fossil fuels, individual and collective strengths have been revitalizing.  In community our
strengths abound, our individuality shines.

Deepening actions and taking new actions to live in healthy and humane ways, loving and honoring each other and all creatures of Earth’s biosphere enable us to breathe anew.

15312539402_9d01cb6ff3_zAs people marched, stood up, spoke out and sat-in, a sense of ourselves rose as citizens of the world and fellow creatures of the biosphere.



At home in our daily lives what does that look like?  When we have choices to make, what do we choose to do?  Take the time to walk a mile instead of driving it.  Listen to the birds; feel the breeze or heat as air sensations.  Greet a neighbor.  Turn from Facebook to a real book.  Read in solitude, to a child, with a group.   Plant a seed, a sunflower, a tree, a garden.  Cultivate with others.  Remove a lawn.  Refresh reuse with imagination.  Ask, “Do I need to buy this thing?”  Buy local.  Help create a restoration.  Build a  local economy based on restoration, learning, service.

There’s much to do and we have the power.  It’s the power not the purchase that marks our freedom.  That’s the strength we need that in turn can strengthen and heal Earth, Mother Earth.

It’s time to express ourselves by enacting humane, ecological habits of being.



Organic Growers Feed the Spirit and Body Politic

eco farm conf            Last week being with the Eco-Farm community at Asilomar, CA assured me that the organic growers—farmers, gardeners, and all who study, support, supply, partner or ally with them—feed more than populations.   As they cultivate and care for the land, the crops or animals, helping the biodiversity of flora and fauna and watersheds to flourish, these organic growers participate in a growing organic grassroots that feed our national and international spirit and the health of our body politic.

Since J. I. Rodale founded in 1930 the Rodale business in farming and publishing to focus on healing and the synergy of healthy soil and healthy people, organic growing practices and understandings have boosted what it means to see that human beings are a dynamic part of Nature and to have thriving relationships with the natural world.  More than 1600 people were a part of the 2014 Eco-Farm Conference initiated 34 years ago continuing the deepening of an ecological consciousness.  Some of the elders in the organic growing community convened a week earlier to reflect on what has been learned and what needs to be done.

Certainly, what has been done has included helping to generate an environmental, a.k.a sustainability, movement and many policies and laws that affect the political economy, starting with limiting damage that can be done to the biosphere.  Although there is much more to be done, the near-settled 2014 Farm Bill has provisions that assist organic farming and research.  Yet, in the United States, environmental laws have generally been based on the Commerce Clause in the Constitution, which recognizes Nature as property, a thing to be consumed or used.

Thankfully, in places, like Santa Monica, CA, the 20 year-old, continually updated, City’s Sustainability Plan has led to shifting the paradigm to recognize the rights of Nature in a Sustainability Bill of Rights.  Natural ecosystems, like a community, have fundamental inherent rights to thrive.  Those rights supersede private corporate interests.  Now, any Santa Monica citizen has standing to speak for the ecosystem and, if necessary, in a court of law to defend those rights of the Natural ecosystems, particularly the watershed, within the city.  Here’s an example of a local community deciding for itself how to be healthy and truly sustainable.

  asilomar_conference_grounds_beach_pacific_grove_california_unitedstatesAt the 2014 Eco-Farm conference new seeds for opening minds and practicing humane habits were planted.  Visiting nearby independent organic farms and a community cannery-kitchen commenced the lessons.  asilomar_conference_grounds_pebble_beach_4Later, tucked in in Asilomar’s Monterey Pine forest across from sand dunes and ocean, it was enlightening to sit in gracious spaces—architectural weaves of wood, stone and light—to converse, question, or dine with a multigenerational gathering of farmers, gardeners, students, scientists, activists, educators, merchants, craftspeople, artists, poets, physicians, academics, leaders and neighbors. Keynote speaker Dr.Temple Grandin urged us to be better observers, attentive to the details that take into consideration an animal’s thinking-in-pictures.  Closing presenter Maria Rodale reminded us, as her grandfather understood, organic growing heals—in short, to Ms. Rodale, “More love, less fear.”   With such consciousness, the organic community is quite an animated organic grassroots that enliven the spirit and body politic.

The People’s Song is to Save Mother Earth

Saturday, September 21, in Seattle’s Myrtle Edwards Park, the Puget Sound poured into Elliot Bay and refreshed us at the shoreline.  There, our determination and love of Mother Earth, our commitment to our fellow creatures, especially the young, meshed with the breezy sunshine to bathe us.  Bill McKibben named it such a pretty “solar spill,” to me, our balm and nourishment.

We made our personal commitments in solidarity with the young boy who asked us to “save Mother Earth” and waved our red banners to “Draw the Line” against the Keystone XL 1379835075-350org-draws-the-line-in-seattle_2754106pipeline and confront the climate crisis.

That  excessive materialism and unconscious consumerism have largely generated climate change does not deter us from awakening to our finest consciousness and humane living in the Anthropocene Age.

The beauty of that realization rushed back to me later in the evening when I sat immersed in a local Seattle performance of Les Miserables and the “People’s Song”uplifted the voices in unison to assert the human power to live free, joyfully and lovingly.