A tree stands tall in my backyard. It is a very old Maple tree. It stands sentry beside 3 other wise old Maples, guarding our yard and watching our lives. I sit under the trees and imagine all they have seen. Our house is also old and many families have lived here. I live at the very edge of the Great Plains; in a place called the Darby Plains. American Indians thrived here once.They lived with the land. American Indians did not have agribusiness or commercial poultry and cow farms. There was an intimate understanding of the fragile balance between their existence and proliferation and the Earth’s continued ability to provide the necessary resources.
Ancient people may not have understood that when the Sun disappeared behind the Moon it was an eclipse-a naturally occurring event that one day could be predicted years in advance. They may have thought it was God or many gods telling them they were in good favor or bad. Our ancestors did not have the deep knowledge of the Earth and it’s place in the Universe. How fickle and dangerous the swift changes in weather must have seemed. They didn’t have a weather radar map to watch the storm cells bloom and sweep across their land.
The uncertainty of not completely understanding what was happening to their physical earth, caused our ancient ancestors to treat the Earth with respect. Best not make it mad or it will unleash a power so great, no one will survive! They treated the Earth as if it had a soul.
Modern technology has allowed our population to predict weather events, obliterate perceived insect and animal pests, destroys plants we don’t like and endlessly reshape our environments to our liking. I watch the farm land around my beloved trees change. Each year more old growth trees that held down the soil and provided windbreak are ripped out of the earth.Each year I watch thousands of acres of prime farm land being saturated in Pesticide. The Earth is no longer treated as if she has a soul; she is treated as if it is a Thing.
It is time we remember the Earth is a living breathing organism. It can be scarred but it can also be healed. Through the education of Permaculture practices, organic farming, humane treatment of farm animals and other compassionate practices, we can nurture the soul of the Earth.
I will sit under my tree today and remember that I am responsible for helping to preserve our Earth. I am personally responsible for educating myself and others on Best Practices for Earth. This is a perfect time to apply the Golden Rule -Treat my Planet as I would want to be treated.