“Gratitude is most powerful as a response to the Earth because it provides an opening to reciprocity, to the act of giving back, to living in a way that the Earth will be grateful for us.” ~ Robin Wall Kimmerer
Some of you may have noticed (or are regularly visiting) our Practice Space where we offer a Daily Question to enhance grateful awareness. Each day we are moved by and learn from the responses that appear. The reflections are joyful, poignant, subtle, poetic, loving, generous, sophisticated, playful, vulnerable, and, of course, infused with gratitude.
We offer the following selection of responses to one of our recent Daily Questions. May these reflections serve to open a doorway to gratefully loving the world and finding ways to live accordingly.
The air we breathe, the food we eat, the beauty of a sunset…nature offers many gifts. In what ways might you reciprocate this generosity?
“Share the inspiration of nature’s beauty with breath, art, joy, gratitude and help to preserve this as a legacy for others to follow. We only have one precious mother earth.” ~ Neil
“I dedicated my herb garden to wild flowers and perennials. The pollinators are very engaging!” ~ Cheryl V. Hooper
“Trying to be mindful with the things, buying regional, avoid spending resources lavishly. To share whatever possible. And not to forget to give thanks to all which nature offers so freely.” ~ Ose
“I love questions that remind me of things I could do or to do what I am already doing more mindfully. I try to give thanks, to appreciate it, to care for it and, as a teacher, to bring the children up with a sense of their responsibility — educating the future generation to care for the world. I recycle, walk when I can, plant, care for the animals in the garden/near me with food, possible homes, I try to save water… There is so much we can do if we just take the time.” ~ sb
“Consciously walk lightly on this planet and be part of it instead of apart from it.” ~ Don Jones
“You can reciprocate nature’s generosity in so many little ways. I was walking around the downtown residential area for about an hour today. They had recently constructed little bioswales in parking areas and along parts of the sidewalk. I found a snail about the width of my thumb on the sidewalk. I had never seen a living one that big before, so I stood and watched it for a minute. I didn’t want anyone to accidentally step on it so I gently moved it to a leaf on one of the swales.” ~ Heather
“Notice people. Say hi and smile. Pay them a compliment. Listen with an open mind.” ~ Catherine Huete
“Vote for people who will promote policies and legislation that protect biodiversity, mitigate climate change and promote climate justice. It won’t happen voluntarily, at least not quickly enough.” ~ Malag
“I am learning to tend gardens of flowers, trees, fruit and veggies, and a yard. I try to use organic and biodegradable products as much as possible. I have been using too many paper products — paper plates, plastic utensils, etc. this summer, so I will be mindful of that. We use a fuel efficient car and I am mindful of the number of trips I make around town so as to conserve time, energy, fuel and reduce pollution. There are so many ways I could do better. Before I purchase something I try to always ask myself, ‘What will I do with this when I no longer want it, can’t use it, or it breaks?’.” ~ Katrina
“To treat the Earth as I would like to be treated – nurtured, watered, cultivated, touched, warmed, safely protected, pruned, and allowed to live on wild and free life.” ~ SK
“Sharing with others, Random Acts of Kindness, and a simple smile come to mind as ways to reciprocate generosity.” ~ MIchele
“I was inspired by Zen Buddhist roshi John Daido Loori who said one day when walking he felt a breeze and bowed to it. On my walks I don’t bow, but I do from time to time stop and appreciate the beauty all around. I support environmental causes and at one time was more of an activist.” ~ Mike S
“I think a great unmasking is upon our species: That we will be reawakened to our inseparable condition from nature. We ARE nature as much as the air and sea. Our bodies are already existing for the sole reason that we are already in a reciprocal relationship, albeit blindly. What we can do individually is start living each moment with that awareness and stop any actions we are taking that offer resistance and unbalance to the myriad systems that intertwining allow us to survive each and every day. Some are beyond our control and yet attitudinally we can shift and this is a powerful contribution in many ways. We will be on the endangered species list (and probably should be already). So I will stop killing the planet in any ways I can.” ~ Howie Gieb
“By appreciating the sunrise when I’m headed to work and all the beauty it creates in the sky and the light that it brings to the day. I want to reciprocate by bringing my own light to the day and, like the sun, offer it without any restrictions.” ~ Sunnypatti
“Be kind.” ~ Steve Chervinskas
We offer our deepest thanks to all of you who shared the ways in which you reciprocate nature’s generosity. We are grateful to the big-hearted photographers who generously share their images through Unsplash, a few of which are featured here. If you would like to add a rich practice to your life, we invite you to visit our Practice Space and join the welcoming community who connect there each day.
And for you, in what ways might you reciprocate nature’s generosity? We invite you to share your reflections below…