Friday, April 22, 2016

Enjoy Earth, Day (by Day)

Earth, in our neighborhood, each year suffers through early Spring's labor pangs and is once again reborn. Leaves, emerging in more shades and tints of rich, pale green than we can name, now are not much larger than an infant's fingernails, offering sparse shade and much sunlight to the woods' floor, so wildflowers and bushes blossom in the understory and road sides. Locally this week, we've been blessed by the soft, gentle showers that will bring May flowers with unshattered petals.

Spring is Earth's rebirth
Spring -- Earth's rebirth
Photo by J. Harrington

country road treasures and pleasures
country road treasures and pleasures
Photo by J. Harrington
Some of the water drops will feed plants and trees where they fell. Others will flow across the land and into local ponds and streams. Still more will sink through soil and sand into the groundwater, feeding aquifers and wells and springs and seeps. Life's support comes from only four basic elements: earth, air, fire and water.

Today, Earth Day, is the day we honor and express our gratitude for the gifts of life they give us. One day is not enough. We depend on them and they deserve our thanks and gratitude, our honor and protection, on each day we breathe, drink, eat and are alive.

[Murmurs from the earth of this land]

By Muriel Rukeyser

Murmurs from the earth of this land, from the caves and craters,
       from the bowl of darkness. Down watercourses of our
       dragon childhood, where we ran barefoot.
We stand as growing women and men. Murmurs come down
        where water has not run for sixty years.
Murmurs from the tulip tree and the catalpa, from the ax of
        the stars, from the house on fire, ringing of glass; from
        the abandoned iron-black mill.
Stars with voices crying like mountain lions over forgotten
        colors.
Blue directions and a horizon, milky around the cities where the
        murmurs are deep enough to penetrate deep rock.
Trapping the lightning-bird, trapping the red central roots.
You know the murmurs. They come from your own throat.
You are the bridges to the city and the blazing food-plant green;
The sun of plants speaks in your voice, and the infinite shells of
        accretions
A beach of dream before the smoking mirror.
You are close to that surf, and the leaves heated by noon, and
        the star-ax, the miner’s glitter walls. The crests of the sea
Are the same strength you wake with, the darkness is the eyes
        of children forming for a blaze of sight and soon, soon,
Everywhere, you own silence, who drink from the crater, the
        nebula, one another, the changes of the soul.


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