“As I grew to understand the gifts of the earth, I couldn’t understand how ‘love of country’ could omit recognition of the actual country itself.
The only promise it requires is to a flag. What of the promises to each other and to the land?
What would it be like to be raised on gratitude, to speak to the natural world as a member of the democracy of the species, to raise a pledge of interdependence?
No declarations of political loyalty are required, just a response to a repeated question:
Can we agree to be grateful for all that is given?
… What happens to nationalism, to political boundaries, when allegiance lies with winds and waters that know no boundaries, that cannot be bought or sold?”
~Robin Wall Kimmerer,
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
“Our bodies remember that we lived in trees and forests. We need to crawl and climb and run if we are to develop our intellectual, emotional and spiritual capacities. We did not emerge from an austere iceberg of a distant planet, but in the particularities of this Earth and its forests. When we wander through the mountains climbing and running, our bodies remember these deep patterns of behavior intrinsically tied to all we are.”
The Universe is a Green Dragon
Mary’s entire poem:
When I am Among the Trees
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
Lyla June Johnston is a Diné (Navajo) poet, musician, anthropologist and community organizer from Taos, New Mexico.
‘If there is any wisdom running through my life now, in my walking on this earth, it came from listening in the Great Silence to the stones, trees, space, the wild animals, to the pulse of all life as my heartbeat.’
~ Vijali Hamilton
For those who have experienced the joy of being alone with nature there is really little need for me to say much more; for those who have not, no words of mine can ever describe the powerful, almost mystical knowledge of beauty and eternity that come, suddenly, and all unexpected.
~ Jane Goodall