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Nature and the Environment
HOW FIERCELY, DEVOUTLY WILD IS NATURE
How fiercely, devoutly wild is Nature in the midst of her beauty-loving tenderness!painting lilies, watering them, caressing them with gentle hand, going from flower to flower like a gardener while building rock mountains and cloud mountains full of lightening and rain. Gladly we run for shelter beneath an overhanging cliff and examine the reassuring ferns and mosses, gentle love tokens growing in cracks and chinks. Daisies, too, and ivesias, confiding wild children of light, too small to fear. To these one's heart goes home, and the voices of the storm become gentle. Now the sun breaks forth and fragrant steam arises. The birds are out singing on the edges of the groves. the west is flaming in gold and purple, ready for the ceremony of the sunset, and back I go to camp with my notes and pictures, the best of them printed in my mind as dreams. A fruitful day, without measured beginning or ending. A terrestrial eternity. A gift of good God.
THE PLACE NO ONE KNEW
I went there for solitude and restoration.
It was a place at the edge of the silver lake,
where I could go and smell the forest.
No one knew about my secret altar,
except for some chipmunks and a blue heron.
Yet concealed under a canopy of birch leaves,
my love began:
Mike W. Blottenberger
Honoring the Earth
A LIVING EARTH
The earth is not a mere fragment of dead history, stratum upon stratum like the leaves of a book, to be studied by geologists and antiquarians chiefly, but living poetry like the leaves of a tree, which precede flowers and fruitnot a fossil earth, but a living earth.
Henry David Thoreau
Planting a tree, I may not save the world
But I can help the birds have homes, and to revive nature.
Walking more, driving less, I may not save the world
But I can help to keep the air clean, and pollution levels down.
Starting a garden, I may not save the world
But I can help the insects and birds feed, and even myself.
Dressing warmer in winter, cooler in summer, I may not save the world
But I can help keep energy rates down, and use less natural resources.
You know, perhaps I can help save the world.
Perhaps we can save the world.
Audrey Star Josefek
Joy, Praise and Gratitude
I want to tell you something. This morning
is bright after all the steady rain, and every iris,
peony, rose, opens its mouth, rejoicing. I want to say,
wake up, open your eyes, there's a snow-covered road
ahead, a field of blankness, a sheet of paper, an empty screen.
Even the smallest insects are singing, vibrating their entire bodies,
tiny violins of longing and desire. We were made for song.
I can't tell you what prayer is, but I can take the breath of the meadow into my mouth, and I can release if for the leaves'
green need. I want to tell you your life is a blue coal, a slice
of orange in the mouth, cut hay in nostrils. The cardinals'
red song dances in your blood. Look, every month the moon
blossoms into a peony, then shrinks to a sliver of garlic.
And then it blooms again.
JUST ANOTHER DAY
It's just another doughnut day in the universe.
I want to smash my face into flour, fluff and sweetness
and forget anything that prevents me from feeling
the absolute joy of birdsong or yellow balloon
whether it be deadline or telephone line
the electronic busyness of our lives
for there are rows of tulips conspiring pink
and lovers breathless next to willow trees.
There are lilacs whispering among their twisted trunks
and windmills whirling through Van Gogh's ear.
There is color everywhere
and sprinkles of hope in my heart
that you will feel the freedom
of renegade rivers and the vast expanse
of starry starry nights.
Connect the dots, the body of water
between us, this great flood of love
that seeps through and beyond the earth.
Table of Contents1. Nature and the Environment
2. Honoring the Earth
3. Healing the Earth
4. Cycles of Life
5. Love, Kindness and Compassion
6. Living Simply
7. Our Children
8. Honoring Animals
9. Spirituality, Prayers and Blessings
10. Community and Worldly Blessings
11. Joy, Praise and Gratitude