“Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond.”
~ Robin Wall Kimmerer
Every breath of our lives, we are sustained by the gifts of the earth – not only the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink, but also the cotton for our clothing, the energy to heat our homes, the healing plants that yield our medicines. If any person were showering us so consistently with such abundance, we’d feel that we couldn’t thank them enough.
Today’s practice centers on turning our attention to all the ways that the earth nourishes us. Starting with your morning tea or coffee, pause to consider the sunlight, water, and soil that birthed the plants…that yielded the leaves and beans…that were then so carefully picked and harvested in the first step of their journey to your favorite mug. Take stock of the food throughout your day, the warmth from your furnace or fire, the gas that lights your stove, your furniture and books. While we depend on the extraordinary labor of our fellow humans to transform the earth’s bounty into the necessities and luxuries of our lives, the earth’s raw offerings – the source of all that sustains us – are staggering in their abundance.
As you make your way through the day, choose a few (perhaps new) ways to express your love for all the gifts of the earth. How will you return to the earth some of the sustenance and beauty that it offers to you?
Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Commit (or re-commit) to saying grace before meals in a way that honors and celebrates the earth’s gift of food
- Plant something new, whether in a windowsill or garden, and tend it with care
- Replace one disposable household product with something renewable as an act of love for the earth
- Contribute your voice, time, or resources to an organization whose mission is care of the earth
- Write a love letter to the earth and offer it as an act of thanks or prayer
Share Your Reflection: As you enact one of the above practices or something of your own creation, we invite you to share how you’re expressing your love for the earth. Please post below.
Deepening Resource: The Serviceberry: An Economy of Abundance, An Essay by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Image: Each day of our Grateful for Love practice includes an image of love as expressed through street art. Today’s Photo: Lubo Minar/Unsplash
Enjoy the full seven-day Grateful for Love practice.
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I planted a bavarian damask rose
I will plant a rose in a pot and tend it lovingly on the patio.
I would like to share this Universal Worship Service on “Heal the Earth Heal Ourselves,” which honors and draws from all religious traditions and includes meditation and breath practices with the Elements.
Dear Earth…From the bottom of my heart my immense gratitude for all you have provided for us..care, love, generosity, abundance, joy, life……..You are spectacular!!! You bring so much joy into my life. I need to take better care of you. LOVE to you mother earth.
My prayer for today: Lord, I pray for the healing of your World: for all of its environments, all of its creatures, and all of its peoples.
The photo I choose for my name when I first joined Gratefulness.org has been a favorite of mine since 2009 – when I took the photo in a garden in Ireland. Today’s lesson on giving thanks to nature brought my attention to the tree (and all trees). Their very existence is a gift of life to the entire planet: they absorb carbon dioxide (and many other toxins) and transforming them into oxygen. Since I enjoy writing haiku and tanka poetry, I thought today would be a good day to write a haiku in gratitude to the tree (and all trees) I so love:
cleansing the air – nourishing
and shielding the earth
Beautiful words and a beautiful photo. Thank you😊
Thank You for sharing this beautiful ‘grace before meals’