Living & Learning Earth Day – Every Day

By Linda Wiggen Kraft

Earth Day. How can I live it every day? How can I live it deeply? So deeply that it changes the essence of my being. So deeply that the essence of earth is changed.

These were my thoughts as I sat down to write about Earth Day 2018. Before beginning I checked my email to find an article recently written by Geneen Marie Haugen*, whose essay in a book Spiritual Ecology was the most inspiring one I had ever read about us and earth. Her recently written words, again, deeply moved me. They open me to live and learn Earth Day, every day, in a changed way.

Here is part of Geneen’s recent essay, where she asks how to go forward with both love of this earth and despair at the diminishing life on it. She offers no big answers only a learning that she lives daily. It is a learning I want to live.

Here are some of her ending words, “…the most intimate, meaning-saturated action I take on behalf the wild Earth is to engage as if stone, lizard, yucca, lichen, and cloud are intelligent, ensouled beings, with their own longings, and as if the land and creatures are sacred presences and as if acknowledgement of their subjectivity and nobility encourages them to reveal more of their animate nature. I know for sure that I come more alive with such enactments, shiver with a sense of participating with sentient presences, and with life’s great intelligence.”

There are others who also help me in learning Earth Day. In preparation for a workshop I taught in North Carolina, I came across an Episcopal Priest who helped me learn about his unique church called Church of the Woods- Kairos Earth. It is in New Hampshire in a 106 acre setting. Services are always held outside. The reason is that the plants, earth, animals and life of the woods are “members” of the community. They are participants in the services. The humans of this church feel, “the earth itself, rather than a building, is the bearer of sacredness…” Perhaps these ensouled woods “reveal more of their animate nature” as Geneen states, because of the love and participation with them by the church human members.

We all have our teachers, whether human or not. These teachers of the woods, gardens or open spaces help us to live and learn Earth Day deeply, every day. Let your living and learning bring you to a place where you can “… shiver with a sense of participating with sentient presences, and with life’s great intelligence.”

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer who creates holistic and organic gardens. She is also a mandala artist and workshop leader. Visit her blog: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com/blog or her website: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com. Call her at (314) 504-4266.

*I had the pleasure of studying with Geneen Marie Haugen in the spring of 2016 at Esalen in Big Sur, California.