“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”

                                                            -Aldo Leopold

When the Titanic sunk, the people on top were the last to admit it was even going down.

Remember when you would drive your car down the road in summer and your windshield would be covered in insects, or if you looked up at an outdoor light there were tons of insects swarming under them? Remember when the woods were full of songbirds? Remember when you were a child playing in your backyard and found all kinds of little critters and plants to explore, or saw thick flocks of birds passing by? Remember when that parking lot was a healthy forested ecosystem? Remember when that creek in your neighborhood teamed with life? 

As of 2019, we have lost over 40% of our insects, over 50% of the world’s forests, almost all the coral reefs, most of our topsoil as well as large mammals, plus thousands of other species- too many to name here. Not one day goes by that Hart and I aren’t grieving over the dis-ease of our world. This is Creation, holy, sacred ground, to be honored and stewarded with appreciation and respect for the web of life. 

This is a call for taking accountability and creating change. It is an appeal to look into our own daily lives and search for new ways of thinking and being. The planet’s health is shifting rapidly right before our eyes. This decline in health is a result of human endeavors. The sad, terrible news is that our beautiful, giving planet is dying, folks. If for some reason you do not believe this, unfortunately, each day that goes by will make the severity of this situation more and more apparent. “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss is the most simple but powerful story I can think of to explain the state we are in.  

Because we have created the problem, it stands to reason we must also have it within us to create the solution. The bright, hopeful news is that each one of us can take action today to help heal our common home.

The keystone of healing our world and ourselves is a respect for all life. Water is life. Soil is life. Air is life. Insects are life. How generous this world is!! All of these things can live without us, but we cannot survive without them. It is time we treated the non-human world with that respect. Inherent respect for ourselves, each other and the ecosystem means we take care of us and protect us and act in accordance with natural law. 

It is possible to live in harmony with life.  “In God’s garden, there is a usefulness for everything and everyone.” Clarissa Pinkola Estés. It is possible. But how?

I don’t know all the answers, by any means, but I have some ideas of how we in the first world can shift this downward spiral of environmental disaster. It’s not in the hands of new legislation, political agreements or corporations. We make things so complex. It’s the simple things that make the difference, but however simple and accessible they are, without doing them collectively, it doesn’t work. It is in our hands. Right here and now. We have to unite on this one. 

Earth Stewards Unite and;

*Reach out to your Higher Power and ask for guidance each and every day for how to contribute to the health of all beings. 

*Do your very best to think beyond yourself into the web that holds you, and let your actions stem from there.

*Be forgiving of yourself and others, trust in the goodwill of one another.

*Spend time outdoors regularly observing nature.

*Eat something wild everyday, even if it is just chewing on a pine needle or popping a violet flower in your mouth. 

*Grow a garden, even if it’s a container garden. Or support your local farmers or both. Being personally connect to your food is really one of the biggest ways we can help.

*Think through the need to drive your car here and there at any whim.

*Carpool, walk or take public transit. 

*Stop using synthetic detergents and cleaning products. Less harmful alternatives work just as well!

*Convert large mowed areas into wildflower meadows, forests or gardens.

*Have cloth napkins, handkerchiefs and rags. Observe your consumption of paper products.

*Stop using any sort of synthetic pesticide or herbicide. Period.

*Talk to your local electric company and put up no spray signs on your property. Work together with your neighbors to make no-spray corridors.

*Hang out your laundry on a line or hang it on a rack inside.

*Compost.

*Consider using an alternative to pressure-treated wood.

*Be mindful of how much trash you want to generate. Hang out at your local dump for an afternoon.

*Research what it takes to raise factory cattle, hogs and chickens if you eat meat.

*Give herbal medicine a chance.

*Vote for candidates who do not scowl and belittle others, but rather lift up the people and the planet as a whole.

*Stop shopping at Amazon. If you are curious how this degrades the health of our planet, it starts by destroying the local economy. Visit An Unfair Advantage for more info.

*Thank the rivers and streams near you and notice if they are being cared for well. Be a voice for the voiceless.

*Examine your possessions. How much do you really need? Share. Consume less.

*If you have the means, donate to organizations or support businesses that are making a positive impact for the future of our dear planet.

*Sit still, be with yourself in silence, every day. 

*Live simply, so that others may simply live.

*Keep asking for guidance to be a grateful and attentive steward of this magnificent gift of a planet.

*Smile. It makes your eyes sparkle and Divine shine through:-)

As Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of the UN says, “I count on you all.”