Each spring as the cold and darkness of winter fades, my sense of vitality is restored. The awakening starts as the hours of sunlight lengthen. I receive a special boost when I smell the earthy dampness of fresh spring rain. My awareness is tweaked with the appearance of the earliest of spring flowers. I watch the cows with their calves. I listen for the over-flight of ducks, and marvel at the unfolding saga of nature … Think about our connectedness with the Land. Some call us “earthlings”. The ancient Hebrews referred to us as “Am Ha’ Aretz” – grassroots people. The Chinese talk about humans as the “hsin” of heaven and earth, and “hsin” is written as a pictograph of the human heart. In this simple way they seem to be saying humans are the “understanding and heart of heaven and earth”. From the Hebrew legends come stories of our source. “The Lord God took some soil and formed a man; he breathed into his nostrils and the man began to live.” In real life, my dad showed me God’s handiwork as we worked and fished together. One Grandmother shared her love for garden flowers, and the other her love for her cattle. An agricultural professor revealed a sermon text in a handful of soil. A child opening her first pea pod helped me marvel at mysteries hidden away. I will never forget the sound of awe in the voice of a friend who told me “Yesterday’s sunset was so beautiful, I just had to stop the car and have a cry!” The Earth is our Mother. It is from her that we are created. It is in her that we are rooted. It is out of her that we draw nourishment. It is into her that we shall return. To her we give thanks!
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