Excerpted from Poetry of Life, my 4th book of poetry, available on Amazon
It does not matter where you reside, in what country or city you might live, the earth is your home, your sanctuary, and the place of your belonging. Nothing has a greater claim on you than the Earth, which holds you close through gravity and keeps you grounded in life. It is the element of embodiment, the mix from which you are made. It is the place of your origin and your return as expressed in the eulogy: “Dust to dust, ashes to ashes.”
Earth is the densest of all the elements. It comes in degrees of solidity from the finest sand to the hardest diamond. It supports our life by giving us our ground both physically and spiritually. Its magnetic field orients us. Its peaks and valleys challenge us and give us depth and perspective. It enchants us with its fields and forests. It intrigues and frightens us with its hidden ridges and steep drops, with its curves and bends around which we cannot see. Its quakes and quivers remind us how much we take this solidity for granted.
Native people around the world considered the earth to be the great mother, the womb, the dark soil where new life gestates. It protects and nourishes what is being born in our lives. It’s the place into which we retreat, seeking renewal inside caves. It is also the place where we exile our demons in an underworld that keeps them contained. Perhaps the greatest loss in our march toward rationality and progress is the reverence and respect the elders had toward the earth as a being in its own right and not an instrument to be used at our whim.