Five Lessons from the Mountain
I read things every day about how we're supposed to behave in the face of overwhelming social and environmental injustice.
But what is the appropriate response to a melting Arctic, all-consuming wildfires, unprecedented floods and mass extinctions?
How do we react to immigrant children being caged and women denied basic rights?
It’s really hard to know what to do and how to go about doing it. But the mountains have much to teach us. Here are five invaluable mountain lessons for our times.
In Praise of the Earth this Earth Day
“Hieroglyphic Stairway” by Drew Dellinger is a poetic invitation into rising to the challenges of our times. It asks:
what did you do while the planet was plundered?
what did you do when the earth was unraveling?
This Is What I Need to Say
I am struck this Earth Day by so many feelings: of love, fear, loss, hope.
There are many ways to look at what is happening right now.
I feel the loss of Eco-warrior and earth-lawyer, Polly Higgins, and the loss of so many life forms on this planet.
And yet, I am also infused with hope.
You Brave and Glorious Thing
This poem is a group poem written by the participants of the “Awakening Creative Flow” workshop Mary delivered at the Expressive Therapies Summit in Los Angeles, Saturday, March 30.
She Had Some Horses by Joy Harjo
When you are 80 years old
and your beauty rises in ways
your cells cannot even imagine now
and your wild bones grow luminous and
ripe, having carried the weight
of a passionate life.
One Place to Begin by John Daniel
She had horses who danced in their mother’s arms.
She had horses who thought they were the sun and their
bodies shone and burned like stars.
She had horses who waltzed nightly on the moon.
She had horses who were much too shy, and kept quiet
in stalls of their own making.
School Prayer by Diane Ackerman
Tell a story about why the sun comes back.
Sit still until the itches give up, lizards ignore you,
a mule deer holds you in her eyes.
Explain yourself over and over. Forget it all
when a scrub jay shrieks.
Memory by w.s. merwyn
I will honor all life- wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell - on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.
Thanks by w.s. merwyn
Climbing through a dark shower I came to the edge of the mountain
I was a child and everything was there
Love Poem by leslie Marmon silko
with the animals dying around ustaking our feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
This woman loved a man and she breathed to him her damp earth song.
Is It Bad to Love Bambi?
Twelve years old and camping on a beach in Scotland, Kate Thompson discovers a “moment of being” as she watches the sunrise from her solitary perch in secluded bay.
"Walking" by Linda Hogan
Is it really irrational to imagine that a young doe on losing his or her mother will feel afraid and lost? Haven't we seen mother bears distraught at the loss of a cub? And haven't we all read stories of inter-species friendships that seem to clearly point toward the fact that animals––just like us humans––will go to great lengths to experience play, affection, companionship?
My Tree by Rolf Jacobsen
Walking, I can almost hear the redwoods beating. And the oceans are above me here, rolling clouds, heavy and dark, considering snow. On the dry, red road, I pass the place of the sunflower, that dark and secret location where creation took place. I wonder if it will return this summer, if it will multiply and move up to the other stand of flowers in a territorial struggle.
Once Upon a Time, In a Forest
It’s the cedar – the mother of lingonberry – that is my tree.
It doesn’t need summer – rain and snow are enough.
Its top is high and ragged, no one hears its sound.
It has a tough, long root that it sinks into gravel.
What Are You Waiting For? by Kai Siedenburg
Some will say that the stories we bring home from the wild defy logic and reason. They will tell us that trees have no feelings, do not scream with thirst, or suffer when felled. They will tell us that we are too emotional in our recounting. They will tell us that the loss of a few old trees can’t possibly affect a meadow.
Do You Carry the "Tender Gravity" of Kindness?
The world is hungry
for your beauty,
to bring forth
your deepest gifts.
Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye
Recently, the concept of kindness has been much on my mind. I have been in London arranging for long-term carers for my 90-year-old mother who recently fell down stairs. She has fallen a lot lately, and it's clear that living alone is no longer a viable option.
The Seven of Pentacles by Marge Piercy
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.You cannot tell always by looking what is happening.