OUR LIVING EARTH FAMILY
‘Ecosystem’ is one of my favourite words.
The etymology of the word ‘eco’ comes from the Greek oikos, meaning ‘home’.
Home is where our family reside.
And family can and do take many forms.
When I was born into the wild mountain lands of Colorado in the US, ‘Nature’ and ‘Earth’ were my family as much as the humans who cared for me. As I grew into the turmoil of my teenage years, my Earth family became more important than ever as I would retreat into their wooded, stony, earthy arms for solace and wisdom every time the human world made no sense to me.
I suspect that this may resonate with you if you are reading this. I have found over the years that the human ‘beings’ drawn to my writing are ‘soul companions’, seeking the same levels of connection and communion with the Earth as I am.
So how would you describe your relationship to Earth and all your family there?
A dear friend of mine years ago said to me “Gen, you have an incredible love struck teenager relationship with Gaia and its healing for me to simply be in that level of loving presence,”.
He was right.
I am deeply, utterly and completely in love with the Earth and all her children.
Are you deeply in love with Earth?
Or does he / she scare you?
Are you entranced every time you catch the temporal beauty of a flower, an animal or a river?
Or do you walk through your life distracted by your humanness?
The Earth will teach us many lessons.
Namely that separation is an illusion.
Our living Earth family is a mirror to our own consciousness and the stories that we swim within.
If we look to the natural world around us and feel fear, that is our fear alone.
If we breathe in the sweet air and roll in the grass, feeling the molecules of our body connect to the molecules of the plants and the soil that is also our story.
Stories create experiences.
This we know.
Are you afraid of being outside at night and in the dark?
If so, why?
Where did the story of not being safe in Nature come from?
Are you reluctant to reach down and eat a dandelion or taste the fresh water running from a spring?
When did you accept the story that nature was dangerous or poisonous?
Have you ever contemplated that the opposite may be true?
For me, the human world has always seemed more fearful and alien.
I am at home in a dark nighttime forest but put me in the city at night and I shrink back from the unseen dangers that I feel.
This too is a story.
One that creates my reality and one that I am hacking.
Our living Earth family does not exclude.
The cities and their ‘wildlife’ are just as much our brethren as the forests and the oceans.
So the question of ‘how do we treat our family’ arises to the surface when we embrace our Earthliness.
Do we respect and honour them as we do ourselves?
Or do we lash out and ignore them because it’s easier to disassociate from those we love the most?
When we embrace all of life as our living family, our world changes because we feel safe no matter where we are and who we are with.
We feel connected.
We feel as though we belong.
We make different choices that respect all of life and the future health of our ecosystems.
We protect our oikos.