Rachel Carson said, "One way to open your eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, 'What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?'"
I thought of this yesterday, as my cousins and I were wandering through my gardens, soaked in unexpected sunshine, surrounded in sweet, summer, bird song. Standing in the middle of the lush, verdant, herb and rose scented yard, I thought to myself, "How glorious! How completely delicious this is!"
Later, as I sat scanning headlines, I realized just how endangered all this beauty is. The ozone layer keeps thinning. We keep polluting. The bees are dying. Entire species are disappearing. Those in power seem hellbent on destroying the fragile balance for greedy purposes.
Disgusted and heartbroken, I turned off the computer. Immediately, I did what I always do in these times of trouble...lifted my heart to the Divine, praying for some miracle to stop the destruction of our Mother, Earth, asking for something to lift up in hope to others.
This morning, I was perusing a friend's Facebook page. She had posted an article that included this poem by Margaret Atwood that simply hit home.
by Margaret Atwood
The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the center of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,
is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.
No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.
We do not own the Earth. We do not own Nature. The gifts that come from the earth, the water and the air are gifts for ALL who inhabit this planet - two-legged; four-legged; winged and finned.
WE belong to the Earth. Let us give thanks for the gifts we find along the way. Let us remember that the care and protection of this world has been given to us. Let us pray for all those who are willing to set aside greed and power in order to protect and nurture. Let us all find the strength and the grace to be humbled by the beauty, the simplicity, the chaos and the fury of Nature. Let us give thanks and remember, we own nothing.