Reflections on Earth Day 50

Part 1: One with the earth

When I stop to reflect on who I am, what I am, where I am, why I am, I can’t separate my am-ness from the planet on which I rely. I went outside today to feel her pulse and see her life…

Rich and black in spots, depleted and abused in others…bearing fruit in both. Wondering if weeds are good for her or as bad as my urge to pull them produced…

But there is much I learn from weeds, whose shelter creates a cozy nest for the super fat grubs still growing (or are they napping) before birthing their hard beetle skin.

These weeds that trick us into believing in their value with hearty greens and interesting floral patterns…they build networks that run deep, just under the surface, with roots that spread and sprawl or excavate deeper soils in search of a foundation that will supply strength.

I said I was only going to be out here to simply cut the grass for my compost and ignore the distracting weeds…

But they call to me with their herbal aromas as I cut. They invite me to see how they do it…how they become strong, resilient and still grow.

After way too long a commitment, I pause to look at my hands.

I don’t recognize them as my own without the manicure that this 2020 life has denied them…I cut them low myself so I know how they feel but they don’t look like my own…they look my grandfather’s…the men who first taught me to pull the weeds from the cracks to preserve the driveway for a little while longer. The men who taught me to plant things that I like so I could experience the pleasure of the process. One was a pastry chef the other a line mechanic that was our family engineer. Then I wonder where is the song that celebrates grandpa’s hands…

Right hand soiled in the palm, on the fingers and under the nail beds with fresh dirt from the garden. Fingers bent inward, skin dry, nails short
Gardening hand
Bill Withers (Recorded in 1971): 1938 – 2020

Part 2: Anniversaries

Earth Day 2020 is the fourth anniversary of the purchase of my “dream”

Home

Ownership…

Passing something worth having on

To the next generation…

Acknowledging the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape heritage of the land where this house sits.

I wonder how to pass on better practices for those who will come even after me…

I see the gift of planted trees made at least hundreds of years ago in the soil and smell it in the air. As I pluck wild onions from between the variegated leaves of the hostas that were left to sprout every year since I have been here.

I am wondering how to make a garden blueprint of perennials for my own kinfolk or the next persons who will occupy this space.

I wonder what’s the best way to mark an anniversary? What better way than to leave a learned lesson like treasure to be found…

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