Honor the Earth and Each Other – Notes on Earth Day, April 2021

From out of the earth
I sing for the animals;
I sing for them.

– Red Streaked Around the Face, Hunkpapa Sioux

Because my husband Jim and I limited our travel during 2020, I was delighted to discover acceptable flowering and foliage plants from local hardware stores. We selected two hanging baskets for our porch, identical baskets of flowering calibrachoa. Then, I could not resist two more plants: a type of sedum plus a sun loving coleus.

The calibrachoa, sedum and coleus all needed work. But each plant had promise. So I did what I had seen my father do so often. I pruned the plants … prudently and thoroughly.

Calibrachoa was just the ticket! Their flowers remind me of miniature petunias. They glowed in shades of coral, pink and red. Nature had sprinkled dabs of yellow deep inside each petal.

They thrived, and Jim affectionately named me “ The plant doctor! “

I thrived too. 

Nature can have a healing touch.

I prefer flowers, like other visual arts, to have an appeal from a distance and close-up. The bright colors of the calibrachoa beckoned to people walking by our home: Hey! Look at me! They were so intriguing I looked more closely than I intended. I peered into their depths and was rewarded by their subtle beauty.

Jim has a green thumb too. His thumb is green from raising vegetables. Wherever we lived previously, we had a vegetable garden. Sometimes a huge vegetable garden … with a rambling red raspberry patch as well! The blue jay will always remain the raspberry cane pruning bird to me. Whenever I pruned the canes, she scolded me insistently, every spring. Was I invading her space? Were her babies near?

Early each morning, you will find us sitting in our four season sunroom, observing the dawn of the new day. We follow the sun’s progress as she arcs across the eastern horizon. It is a sweet joy to attend to the unfolding season from the comfort of our sofa. The sun sweeps like a rainbow each day … everyday … throughout the year.

At twilight we walk the neighborhood, waving to folks while we witness the daylight slowly dipping westward. Each day, the sun “sets “ to brighten other continents, other countries, and other people.

Jim scans the sky nightly. Never does a day end without my husband walking outside, binocular in hand, to view the unfolding heavens.

Paul Goble describes our interaction with and responsibility for our Earth in his beautiful book “I Sing for the Animals.” As I reread his words, I am reminded what Earth and nature can bring to us, if we give her an opportunity:

“Plants and trees, birds and animals, all things like us to talk to them. They want to speak to us too, but it is not easy for them. We have to find a way to understand what they are saying to us.“

“We need not feel lonely in the fields and woods. Birds and animals, and the butterflies, speak to us. Often we are not really looking or listening. It is the same at night: the stars speak to us. We have to learn to look, and to listen. We are never alone.“

“Man’s world changes, and we hardly feel at home in the places where we grew up. The natural world is constant: the sun comes up and goes down, and the seasons follow one another and return again like a great circle. In our own changing world, it is these things which give us strength and stability.“

Let us preserve the great circle.

Thank you kindly,
Gail Louise