Last year I pondered the relevance of Earth Day at all, and the importance of Unless. I think those thoughts are relevant again this year, though with a slightly different slant.
This year I opted to participate in Three Cranes Grove’s “Earth Along” – From Saturday to Tuesday, I did something in honor of the Earth Mother as a devotional practice in celebration of Earth Day.
And maybe that’s not the same spirit that most of America approaches Earth Day with. It’s certainly not how I’ve ever celebrated in the past. In the past, Earth day has been about hard questions but token gestures, or reading The Lorax but taking home tiny potted trees that will surely die in the quickly approaching summer heat. (It’s 85F today.) In that light, Earth Day seems futile in the face of climate change, peak oil, fracking, pollution, and all the myriad ways that humans are exploiting the planet’s supply of non-renewable resources.
If nothing else, today really is a good day to reread The Lorax – it seems increasingly relevant in our increasingly consumer oriented culture.
At the far end of town, where the grickle grass grows,
And the wind smells slow and sour when it blows,
And no birds ever sing, excepting old crows,
Is the street of the Lifted Lorax.
(Do you need a thneed?) But I digress.
Earth Day as a religious observance seemed to make sense to me this year, so I squeezed in tiny devotions all weekend (while redecorating half my house). It was a very different experience – much less about token environmentalism and much more about devotion to one of the beings I honor as part of my religious and spiritual expression. (I did not honor Nerthus, choosing instead to honor the generic Earth Mother with no name. I can’t say exactly why I did my rituals this way, but it felt right so I went with it.)
I’m also feeling called to make this a regular part of my practice. I am not sure when I will fit in an additional offering, but perhaps I can just make watering my (newly planted) front beds a devotional practice in and of itself. Not having a garden this spring means I’m feeling out of touch with my bit of earth, and that’s never a good feeling for a Druid.
I hope you find meaning in today’s celebration of the Earth, however you honor her. The prayer below is from the Earth Along, which I liked and I hope you like as well.
And may your Earth day, and all your days walking on the Earth, be blessed.