In Praise of the Earth

There are those who see God most clearly in creation. Their eyes breathe in the Divine glory and know that everything good comes from the Father of Lights. Francis of Assisi saw God as the Master Artist, visible in all that He made. Francis’ first biographer, Thomas of Celano, wrote:

“Saint Francis praised the Artist in every one of his works; whatever he found in things made, he referred to their Maker. He rejoiced in all the works of the Lord’s hands, and with joyful vision saw into the reason and cause that gave them life. In beautiful things he came to know Beauty itself. To him all things were good. They cried out to him, ‘He who made us is infinitely good.” By tracing His footprints in things, Francis followed the Beloved wherever He led. He made from created things, a ladder to His throne.”

In the Genesis creation poem it is abundantly clear that humanity has been given the privilege to steward, or care for the earth. Of all people, those who trust the Scriptures should be the first to embrace a theology of ecology, restoration, healing and care.

While I have not fact-checked this next statement, it seems to makes sense to me. That, with the global shut-down brought about by the COVID19 crisis, there has resulted a new healing of the earth. There has been a dissipation of large amounts of air pollution, clearing of water pollution, and wildlife returning to their habitats. While I am not sure of the statistics around this, it makes sense that as we are not able to consume as we have been consuming, there are many positive natural results. Something we should all consider post-COVID.

For Earth Day 2020 I offer you the following blessing penned by John O’Donohue in his book, “To Bless The Space Between Us.” meditate on it and then go for a walk in the wonder of God’s creation.

“Let us bless,
The imagination of the Earth.
That knew early the patience
To harness the mind of time,
Waited for the seas to warm,
Ready to welcome the emergence
Of things dreaming of voyaging
Among the stillness of land.

And how light knew to nurse
the growth until the face of the Earth
Brightened beneath a vision of color.

When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.

Let us thank the Earth
That offers ground for home
And holds our feet firm
To walk in space open
To infinite galaxies.

Let us salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed’s self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.

The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.

Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth
For all our sins against her:
Four our violence and poisonings
Of her beauty.

Let us remember within us
The ancient clay,
Holding the memory of seasons,
The passion of the wind,

The fluency of water,
The warmth of fire,
The quiver-touch of the sun
And shadowed sureness of the moon.

That we may awaken,
To live to the full
The dream of the Earth
Who chose us to emerge
And incarnate its hidden night
In mind, spirit, and light.

Sunday Night Quotes 4/22/2012-Spring

Today was absolutely beautiful in the Pacific Northwest! The evening has been  just perfect as we celebrate Earth Day to the tunes sung by the evening birds and receding sun. Today has actually felt like Spring actually has arrived. With these experiences fresh in mind tonight’s quotes are about Spring!

Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!
~Sitting Bull

“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” ~Robert Schuller

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”  ~Robin Williams

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.  ~Proverb

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.  ~Virgil A. Kraft

That God once loved a garden we learn in Holy writ. And seeing gardens in the Spring I well can credit it. ~Winifred Mary Letts

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.  ~Margaret Atwood

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”

Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.  The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.  ~Henry Van Dyke

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself ~ Lao Tzu

Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.  ~Victor Hugo

If you do not sow in the spring you will not reap in the autumn. ~Irish Proverb