Month: July 2010

Mother Earth

To be at one with our Earth in my opinion is merely to understand her and give her the love and respect she deserves.

I saw a bumper sticker in a store once that had a colored picture of our Earth on it. Following the planet’s contour were the words “Love Your Mother”. I thought the play on words was pretty cool so I bought the thing and glued it onto the back window of my old work truck.

LOVE YOUR MOTHER . . . I wonder how many people would treat their birth mother the way they treat their Earth mother. If they did I wonder how long it would take before birth mother tossed the brat out the upstairs window and smashed his ignorant head on the sidewalk.

Not many I suppose, for as a rule birth mothers are quite long suffering when it comes to their children. She is willing to take a huge load of shit from little Johnnie before she reacts and even then it’s usually a few pats on the behind and a time out in the kitchen corner.

Well, when it comes to our Earth mother, at least since the Industrial revolution when little Johnnie really began giving her a hard time, she has been quiet and long suffering when it comes to disciplining him.

How long she is willing to hold back the paddle is anybodies guess, but today I find myself looking around for a place to hide because once Earth mom gets riled she can really raise holy hell, and not just on the deserving brat either. Everybody in the house gets a piece of the action once she goes over the edge and starts swinging.

Like a lot of kids I grew up knowing mom was always going to be there for me. She would feed me, clothe me and protect me without question, even give me some cash some time when I asked, that’s just the way it was. She was my mom, that’s what moms do.

One day, long after I moved out on my own, I came back to visit mom and saw that she was not getting around so good. Her hair had grayed and she was beginning to forget stuff. I was kinda shocked cause my mom was invincible in her youth. Nothing I did bothered her much and she always had a way of making things better and easier for me. Now, for the first time I realized that the times had changed and I would need to start taking care of her as she was running low on energy.

Our Earth mom has the same problem today as my birth mom had then. She has not said a whole lot about the callous treatment, but the last hundred years or so have been very hard on her and it’s beginning to show.

If you understand this “oneness” you can actually feel her pain. As you watch the oil spill into the gulf you can visualize the internal bleeding as it floods her womb and slowly destroys the birthing place of her entire creation.

As you watch the coal companies in Appalachia scalp her mountains you see the ugly scars left behind and you feel her pain.

All over her Earth rampant destruction is taking place as one country after another rapes and pillages our mother in search of the minerals she has hidden within her soil.

It’s sickening to sit and watch. I sat and watched my birth mother die a horrible death. Stroke had left her unable to speak, or eat, or even drink. She lay that way for ages it seemed before she gave a huge final sigh . . . and died. I don’t want to see my Earth mother go the same way, but unless there is a huge shift in our thinking it’s inevitable that some day, perhaps after we deplete her ozone, she also will shudder and burn up in the heat of the sun. Of course this time she takes her children with her.

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My Moment of Truth

The housing project where I was born and raised sat on the tough side of town. If my dog died, if the big kid next door punched me in the nose, if practically anything happened to me I never cried and if I did I made damn sure I was alone because cry babies in the projects were guaranteed to be at the bottom of the pecking order.

I don’t know how it worked for others who have had theirs, but my ‘awareness’ breakthrough came during the winter of 67 after a couple of us guys decided while sitting in the local bar to drive down to the country and hunt up some rabbits the same as we’d done every year since high school.

Early that following morning it was cold as all hell and there was snow on the ground, but we packed up Tom’s old Ford with guns and a couple six packs and went off hunting anyway. I was wearing boots, a warm jacket, and some sort of ball cap, but none of that orange shit and hunting licenses for us by damn. We were outlaws.

Once there Tom parked off the road, I grabbed my four ten shotgun out of the trunk, showed the guys where I was heading so they didn’t shoot me and wandered off.

I worked my way down one small hill, walked the ravine for a while and started up a larger hill on the other side. At the top I entered a cluster of naked trees and stopped. There were a few tracks in the snow, but everything was holed up and not moving much in the cold. I spotted a large brush pile, the kind bunnies like to hang out in, snuck up and kicked at it. There was a faint rustle and out popped a rabbit running like a bat out of hell across the small clearing.

Aim . . . squeeze . . . BLAM! . . . got him! YES!

I ran up to the wounded rabbit who was lying on his side in a patch of reddening snow. Watched him kicking in circles. Watched him slow down. Watched him give a few short shudders and stop. Watched as the brightness faded from his eyes.

What the shit?! Huge crocodile tears streamed down my face. Sniff, Sniff . . . . I’m crying!

What are the guys going to say if they find me standing here crying like a baby over a dumb ass rabbit!

I’m a veteran for Christs sake. A year or so ago I had been stomping through Asia in the Airborne Infantry. I am a lean, mean, crazy ass killing machine! What’s up with these fucking tears?

I worked hard at it and finally quenched the sobbing and regained my composure. I cleaned the rabbit before returning to the car. The other guys were already there pissing and moaning about how it was too cold to hunt.

“You guys are a bunch of pussies,” I chided in my best macho. “Look at this!” I pulled the rabbit out of my pouch. I may have bragged on the way home, but in these forty some years later I never went hunting again. The thrill of killing died alongside the rabbit that day. Good riddance.

Although it took many years to fully blossom, that cold winter day had been the beginning, the day when my heart thawed and I realized a connection to the Earth far greater than I imagined there was or ever could be. Since then I have changed my viewpoint about many things and completely about the animals. In the school of life, I had graduated from conquerer to caretaker.

Today I live in the middle of a couple thousand acres of Eastern forest and spend a lot of time in the woods observing and trying to communicate with the many animals on my property. We feed the birds, leave brush piles for the small critters and don’t mess with the deer and turkeys. If you saw me talking to a squirrel you might believe I am just a crazy old man with a white beard who’s gone off the edge, but in my world I am having a great time walking the path I’ve created for myself. When I am angry or stressed out or even sick I go to the woods and I talk to my friends. Many times I come home healed.

I understand reality though, the day I stumbled onto a baby rattle snake I didn’t try to pet it, but neither did I hack it to pieces. I merely left it alone. The snake is as important to the ecosystem as I am, probably more so. Why kill it?

Being at one with the animals is quite easy for me, but that is only one step in this ‘awareness’ evolution. I admit to having a much harder time connecting with my own species . . . people aren’t so easy to understand.