Mother Earth Is Ours To Cherish Or Destroy: A Moment With Bill Reflection
The Sun Rises
Now there is delineation on the horizon. At night the sea becomes the sky and the sky, the sea, but in the earliest moments of dawn, looking to the east over the broad expanse of the Atlantic, we now can see it was all an illusion.
Phoenix rises each day, bringing with it colors and warmth, promise and unlimited possibilities. As the first rays spread out over the Outer Banks, the gulls rise as one and spread a chorus of shrieking jubilation across the Reach. Further north the lobstermen motor out to sea, their holds empty but brimming with anticipation. The great cities of the east coast awaken, and tons upon tons of motorized madness begin a new day of work and play.
Monoliths of steel salute the sky, smokestacks billow forth, and the great civilization shakes off the restful slumber and begins, once again, its ritual flirtation of commerce.
Birches, maples and ash rustle in the gentle breeze, clouds serenely man their posts as sentinels of the sky, and the nocturnals return again to their burrows and fallen logs for a well-deserved sleep, for hunting is an exhausting business and even the nighttime prowlers need to rest. To the south the sun is slow to enter the swamplands, and the cranes and gators continue their relationship which has lasted centuries. The clouds billow and the ozone lays thick in the air and lightning paints the sky in electric splendor.
A new day dawning over this land that I love.
Noon and the Westward Trek
Go west young man, go west, for the sun follows the same path as the pioneers, always steering towards an unseen horizon. The Appalachians have been conquered and next up is the Mighty Mississippi, the Mother of Waters, muddy, swirling, placid and life-threatening. Tote that barge, lift that bail, keep the cargo going, boys, and keep a sharp eye on those channel markers.
Dams, locks, levies, canals, divert the flow here and watch out for the runoff there, for what happens in St. Paul will surely be felt in New Madrid and Baton Rouge. The floods giveth and the floods taketh away, just as it always has been. This land is your land, this land is my land, sing it with me but keep moving west with the sun, and the sun, ain’t she beautiful as she spreads across the Central Plains? Look at that ocean of gold flowing in the winds. That’s money boys, gold from the soil, and no glacier ever deposited a richer bounty on a land.
The corn stretches vertically with greens stalks and golden tufts, while soybeans stay closer to their roots and all manner of other vegetables await the day when they will be combined and threshed and delivered to homes around the globe, and then the great fields will lay fallow until the next season, and the promenade continues across the Great Breadbasket.
The west beckons and the prairies sway, the sounds of a constant wind moan as the heat rises and dust devils sprint to and fro. Cattle and sheep graze under wind turbines and oil wells. Shadows are rare for what is there to block the sun on this flat expanse? Dirt rises and dirt falls, and distance is measured by hours rather than miles and look, off in the distance, a feint outline…a hint of the grandiose…as you approach them the gray becomes greens and whites and shimmering blue. They are the guardians of the west, constructed by a loving hand and shimmering in promise for those brave enough to cross them.
Sing with Fogelberg in celebration of our Earth
Late Afternoon in the Rockies
Stand at their feet and you will feel insignificant. Stand on their peaks and you will feel as the eagles must feel. They are the Rockies, ever-changing and yet perpetual…remorseless, unforgiving, inspiring and energizing. Lay in an alpine meadow with a small lake lapping at your feet. Listen to the marmots as they barter and the squirrels as they scamper. Close your eyes and sooner, rather than later, the spirits of Jim Bridger and John Coulter will pay you a visit, mountain men speaking of mountain ways, taking but replenishing, caressing these magnificent ladies but never conquering.
The sun continues its westward trek and for one brief moment….one split second….the shadows will move from the east side of the Continental Divide to the west, as the rivers now flow to Washington, Oregon and California, and taking with them more life-giving nectar.
Through the canyons they flow, wild, turbulent, and life-sustaining. The wildlife stand on the edge in salute, the fox, the black-tails, elk and badgers, knowing instinctively what man does not, that these waters are the blood of this land, and if you bleed it dry there is no hope of transfusion.
Onward the rivers flow to the great metropolises of the west coast, nestled deep in the bosom of the valleys. Orchards spread out and hint of ripeness as the sun approaches the Pacific. The heat of the day leaves the land, and the nocturnals stretch and prepare for another night of scavenging.
The lights of man-made comfort begin to twinkle as families settle down to a hard-earned meal, and the sun approaches the sea and with a twitch of its nose lights up the sky in crimsons and yellows. Birds chirp their last chirp of the day, and does guard fawns as mothers guard babies, and life is tucked in one more night….and all is as well as it can be….as the sun sinks and the sea meets the sky, colors are leeched from the land, symbolic perhaps of the turmoil Mother Earth surely feels daily.
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And She Weeps, and We See, and We Do Nothing
But does She delight now or does She weep? How much longer can she accommodate man and be the perfect Hostess?
We have been given a sacred trust, you and I, and what do we do with it? We barter with time. We take out a loan on today with no intention of paying the interest due tomorrow. We strangle the ethereal and place a price tag upon that which is priceless.
“You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
You carry Mother Earth within you!
And the circle goes round and round, and all of life is an integral part of the circle of Life….to abuse one aspect is to abuse all, for we are all connected. The sky, the stars, the soil, the plant life, the animals and the people, all joined together in a dance as ancient as life itself. It has always been and it always will be so.
Would you wake one day and cut off your arm? Would you slash off your ear or remove an organ? Of course not, for consequences would follow and pain would be experienced. Perhaps you would compensate in time….perhaps not. But what if you continued on this self-destructive avenue? Eventually the inevitable would happen, and compensation would no longer be possible, and the living being that was you would cease to be.
So it is with this gift we have been given.
A drop of poison is dispensed in the river. Sheer volume dilutes it and the poison is no longer….unless….
A gallon of poison is dispensed in the river, or into the skies, and sheer volume struggles to dilute it, and then ten thousand gallons are dispensed and the volumes begin to equalize and the tears flow and we mourn the loss of another species and with that species a part of you and I dies as well.
And so it is with this gift we have been given.
And she weeps, and we see, and…..
The sun begins to climb from the Atlantic once again, the birth of new opportunities, another chance to finally understand and to follow through on the promise we made, the visions of Eden we had, the hope we have always held deep inside of us.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”