Earth day can be difficult for those of us who love
what Peter Mayer calls our "Blue Boat Home"
and who see the devastation we human beings
are wreaking on it.
We can feel overwhelmed by the scope of the problem
and become tired and discouraged. We may give up.
We may give up hope.
We may give up hope for the earth’s recovery.
I grew up close to the earth, on a farm,
and here’s one thing I know.
The earth has great powers of recovery.
It is strong. Life is strong.
Everywhere I hear stories of how the earth
and its creatures can recover if only we let them rest,
and help them along a little.
the elements of earth, air, fire, and water,
important in many earth-centered religions.
It seems to me these elements are out of balance today.
We have too much fire, hence global warming. We’re too hot.
We have to much air, associated with thought
and information - it can be overwhelming and lead to worry.
It seems to me we need to enhance
the elements of earth and water-
not only in our environment but also in our spiritual lives.
Earth, a symbol of centering, rootedness, and strength
and Water, of cleansing, of nurturing, or serenity.
My sense is we need to let the earth and water rest.
Here is a ritual that involves these elements.
The poet Nancy Wood writes, “Hold onto what is good,
even if it is a handful of earth.”
As I place handfuls of earth into this vessel
please call out your prayers of rest for the earth.
I used potting soil and a ceramic bowl for this part of the ritual.
As I pour libations of water onto this earth,
I ask you to call out your prayers
of cleansing and nurture for our earth.
I poured water from a pitcher onto the earth for each prayer.
I invite you now into a time of silence, to ponder in what ways
you can, in your own life, help the earth to rest
and help enhance the cleansing, healing, nurturing
effects of water. I invite you to do so from a place
of deep rootedness, and of deep serenity.