Living with Covid’s Aftershocks

Yesterday, my father helped me to articulate what it feels like to live with the after-effects of Covid for weeks after I have supposedly recovered. It feels like languishing. It’s like that word was made for people like me, who can’t quite get out from under the rug of this thing.

There’s that meme of Count Rugen from The Princess Bride, where he has just tortured Westley on his Machine, and he says, “I’ve just sucked one year of your life away. Tell me, how do you feel?” Covid has been my Count Rugen. I always assumed that the year of life was taken away from the far end, that when people say, “It took a year off my life!” they mean that year 99 is now gone. After Covid, I feel like I’ve lost a year or three from my life, but they’ve been taken from right here, like I’ve gone from 53 to 55 or 57 in six weeks.

Here’s the part where I sit with the folks in the Nursing Home and enumerate my aches and pains, so feel free to skip down to gratitude and inspiring quotes here. Since this blog is also my personal archive and chronicle, I feel like I need to set it all down here.
* I am definitely regaining my energy, but I still crash. I can’t push myself or overdo it, and expect to rest for an hour or two and bounce back. If I push myself too hard, I crash hard, and end up on the recliner for the rest of the day, my body exhausted and my brain foggy. This is definitely improving as time goes by–fewer crashes.
* I have always been forgetful. I prefer to think of it as engagingly flaky. It just feels like I’m more forgetful now, like my brain enters fogs and mists more regularly. I need to really slow down and breathe in order to focus. This is also less intense six weeks out.
* Before Covid, my body had been sort of toying with the idea of menopause for several years. I’d have periods of time when I would have a hot flash very morning at 3 am, or months of unbearable insomnia. I’d skip a period once in a while, or be late or early, or have really intense and heavy periods for a while and then really light ones. But my body would always re-regulate. In the time since I have had Covid, I’ve skipped two periods in a row.
* About two weeks ago, I developed pain in my shoulder and upper arm. I figured I had just slept on it wrong, but it persisted and worsened, and I realized it wasn’t actually all muscle pain, but mostly nerve pain in my brachial nerves. The pain became excruciating at night, and has been manageable during the day. I did some research, and discovered that brachial neuritis occurs after injury, virus, or vaccine. The primary treatment is painkillers, yoga, and breathing exercises until it subsides. Several nights in the past week and a half, I have gotten very little sleep because of the pain, but the last three night are getting much better, and last night, I only woke up twice, and was able to get back to sleep almost immediately after doing some yoga stretches on the arm.
* The other day when I was eating, I noticed that a piece of enamel had chipped off the back of one of my front teeth. Later in the day, as I was exploring the spot with my tongue, the top edge of the tooth just crumbled away. My brother is a dentist, and he didn’t think I should be too alarmed, that it’s not uncommon as people age. I have also heard that one side effect people are noticing after Covid is that their teeth crack or fall out. I’m getting it fixed this week.


Gratitude List:
1. The fiercely creative students at my school. This is school play weekend, and I am the head usher for plays, so I go to every show (which means I need to especially guard my energy this weekend), and this play offers them the perfect chance to collaborate in ensemble acting, and to sing and dance and do comedy and drama.
2. The little beans of Tanzanian Peaberry are such cute little peas, and it’s just the perfect coffee.
3. Every little noticeable bit of ground regained in my recovery. I slept most of last night, with very little nerve pain in my arm. This is huge.
4. Hugging people again. Carefully and with full consent, but hugging.
5. These cat-folx and their varied personalities. Interspecies communication.

May we walk in Beauty!


“The only time incorrectly is not spelled incorrectly is when it is spelled incorrectly.”


“There is no such thing as one-sided generosity. Like one ecosystem, we are each at different times receiving or purging, growing or pruning. In those moments when you believe you aren’t receiving enough, consider what you most want to receive might be the thing you need to give away.” —Toko-pa Turner


“Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigor and freedom of the forest and the outlaw.” —Henry David Thoreau


“Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art. Yet we so easily take this gift for granted. That is why so many spiritual traditions begin with thanksgiving, to remind us that for all our woes and worries, our existence itself is an unearned benefaction, which we could never of ourselves create.” —Joanna Macy


“What if the Creator is like the poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s God: “like a webbing made of a hundred roots, that drink in silence”?
What if the Source of All Life inhabits both the dark and the light, heals with strange splendor as much as with sweet insight, is hermaphroditic and omnisexual?
What if the Source loves to give you riddles that push you past the boundaries of your understanding, forcing you to change the ways you think about everything?
What if, as Rusty Morrison speculates in “Poetry Flash,” “the sublime can only be glimpsed by pressing through fear’s boundary, beyond one’s previous conceptions of the beautiful”?
Close your eyes and imagine you can sense the presence of this tender, marvelous, difficult, entertaining intelligence.” —Rob Brezsny

NPM Day 30: Doors

Student poetry on my white board. Both poems are apt messages for standing in the doorway to May.

Today is the last day of Poetry Prompts for April. I might take a break from the blog for a few days when this is done.

Today, as we stand in the doorway to May, write a poem about doorways and doors. Doors can be portals from one world to another, the symbol of the step of faith we take from one stage to the next. Doors can also be symbolic of the space between ourselves and others. What doors keep us apart or invite us in? Or write about the doors of your town.

Doorways are about liminal spaces. Write about thresholds, about standing poised between one thing and the next. What holds you in the past? What pushes you into the future? What are the spiritual lessons you learn from standing in the in-between? Or write about the doorway to another world.

Who or what is on the other side of that door?


Today is May Day Eve, one of those special moments in the solar calendar, situated between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. We’ve watched the riot of spring creeping over the gardens and fields, delighted in the shining colors of flowers and the tender greening of leaves, paid attention to what is hatching within us.

May Day, or Beltane, is about celebrating the freedom from that egg, about jumping into the green of the season, feet first, taking risks, whooping with joy. Dust off your wild barbaric yawp. Wanton is the word of this season. We’re stripping off the constricting cloaks and coats and scarves of winter, and running through the fields, barefoot and maybe naked (some of us keep that purely in the realm of metaphor).

What do you need to release and let go of in this season? What are the names of the items of clothing you drop in your wake as you run to the fields? What is the name of the green field before you, the thing you give yourself to with every ounce of your passion?

As we enter the season of Beltane, consider all that has kept you from living fully and joyfully and passionately into your purpose. Name the habits and boxes and dogmas that keep you from living in the world with you Whole Heart. Drop them. And run for the fields.


Gratitude List:
1. That phoebe, calling his name into the dawn.
2. The oriole who called from the sycamore trees yesterday as we left school.
3. Although I was disappointed that opening night of the school play was cancelled because of the rain, our whole family needed the rest of being cozy together in our house last evening.
4. Living by the seasons means that every year has its reminders and rituals of letting go, paying attention, living fully, resting, growing. On the threshold of May, I commit to ditching the constricting habits that keep me from living joyfully.
5. The dawn keeps coming earlier and the twilight comes later, even when the day is cloudy and grey.

May we walk in Beauty!


“Things aren’t so tangible and sayable as people would have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered, and more unsayable than all other things are world of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life.” —Rainer Maria Rilke


“We don’t think ourselves into a new way of living. We live ourselves into t anew way of thinking.” —Richard Rohr


“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.” —Georgia O’Keeffe


“Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth’s treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal… To hope is to give yourself to the future – and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable.” ―Rebecca Solnit


“The child’s hand
Folding these wings
Wins no wars and ends them all. “
―Thomas Merton

NPM Day 29: Tree

Write a poem about a tree, or a grove of trees, or a quiet wood, or a wild forest.


Gratitude List:
1. Morning Thor snuggles
2. Oriole is back!
3. How the green of early sycamore leaves filters the light into the holler
4. Sleep
5. Mint chocolate chip ice cream

May we walk in Beauty!


“The path isn’t a straight line; it’s a spiral. You continually come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths.” —Barry H. Gillespie


“There is room for you at our table, if you choose to join us.” —Starhawk, The Fifth Sacred Thing


“For beautiful to happen, the beautiful has got to be seen.” —from the musical “Ordinary Days”


“You will be found.” —from the musical “Dear Evan Hansen”


“How do you become the person you’ve forgotten you ever were?” —from the musical “Anastasia”


“The universe is not made up of atoms; it’s made up of tiny stories.” ―Joseph Gordon-Levitt


To all the children
by Thomas Berry

To the children who swim beneath
The waves of the sea, to those who live in
The soils of the Earth, to the children of the flowers
In the meadows and the trees of the forest,
To all those children who roam over the land
And the winged ones who fly with the winds,
To the human children too, that all the children
May go together into the future in the full
Diversity of their regional communities.


Carl Jung: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”


“Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth.” ―Rumi (Barks)


“You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend, or not.” ―Isabel Allende


“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ―Bréne Brown, Wholehearted

NPM Day 28: Write a Cento

Today is National Great Poetry Reading Day! No, I’m serious! It’s a thing.
Go get you some Angelou, Dickinson or Whitman,
some Baraka, some Stein, some Oliver, and read it out loud.
Read to yourself, to your lover, to your students,
to your sister, to your cat. Read to the wind,
to the apple tree, to the dishwasher, to the dust bunnies.

Dive into those great poems and make yourself a cento, which means “patchwork garment” in Latin, which makes this poem form seem extra special. Really, it’s a glorified found poem. You pull lines from a bunch of different poems and you make a poem from them, sticking them together in ways that seem to connect and complete each other’s thoughts and ideas. Homer did it. So did Virgil. So you can, too. Put an asterisk at the bottom of your page and list the poets you borrowed from.


Gratitude List:
1. May apples
2. Maples
3. Moooon
4. Massage
5. Meditation

May we walk in Beauty!


“The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding, and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours, life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length. It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.” —Diane Ackerman


“I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.” ―Wendell Berry


“A crone is a woman who has found her voice. She knows that silence is consent. This is a quality that makes older women feared. It is not the innocent voice of a child who says, “the emperor has no clothes,” but the fierce truthfulness of the crone that is the voice of reality. Both the innocent child and the crone are seeing through the illusions, denials, or “spin” to the truth. But the crone knows about the deception and its consequences, and it angers her. Her fierceness springs from the heart, gives her courage, makes her a force to be reckoned with.” —Jean Shinoda Bolen


“Go as far as you can see; when you get there you’ll be able to see farther.” —Thomas Carlyle


“At the end of the day, I’d rather be excluded for who I include than included for who I exclude.” —Eston Williams


“Free me. . .from words, that I may discover the signified, the word unspoken in the darkness.” —Byzantine Prayer


“Father, Mother, God,
Thank you for your presence
during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.
For those who have no voice,
we ask you to speak.
For those who feel unworthy,
we ask you to pour your love out
in waterfalls of tenderness.
For those who live in pain,
we ask you to bathe them
in the river of your healing.
Dear Creator, You, the borderless
sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the
world that which we need most—Peace.”
—Maya Angelou


“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”
—Leonard Bernstein


Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.”
—Mary Oliver


“If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” —Harper Lee

NPM Day 27: Restful

Write a poem that relaxes, a poem that settles, that brings rest. Maybe it’s a lullaby. Maybe it’s a poem for meditation or yoga practice.
And another thing to do today: Memorize a poem you’ve written–get a poem out into the air. Poetry began as an oral art, and it longs to be set free into the air again.


Gratitude List:
1. Gulf Shrimp with risotto for supper. That was delicious.
2. Full Moon
3. Fluttering blossoms
4. Patterns
5. Lights at ends of tunnels.

May we walk in Beauty!


“As truly as God is our father, so truly is God our mother.” —Julian of Norwich


“Had I not created my whole world, I would certainly have died in other people’s.” ―Anaïs Nin


“Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher.” ―William Wordsworth


Forever Oneness,
who sings to us in silence,
who teaches us through each other.
Guide my steps with strength and wisdom.
May I see the lessons as I walk,
honor the Purpose of all things.
Help me touch with respect,
always speak from behind my eyes.
Let me observe, not judge.
May I cause no harm,
and leave music and beauty after my visit.
When I return to forever
may the circle be closed
and the spiral be broader.
―Bee Lake (Aboriginal poet)


“We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.”
―Joseph Campbell


“I can’t tell you why your story is important, only that it is.” ―Mara Eve Robbins

NPM Day 26: Referential Poetry

National Poetry Month Prompt Day 26:

My friend Keith suggested this one:
A poem with an epigraph begins with a quotation from another literary work.
An “after” poem responds to another poem or work of literature (you include the phrase “after so-and-so after your title)
A bounce, usually at a poetry reading, reminds listeners of a poem they just heard–either because it is similar or in contrast to the previous poet’s work.

People like to do after poems related to William Carlos Williams’ “Red Wheelbarrow” and “This Is Just to Say.” Try writing a poem that refers to another poem, either in style or structure, or in an epigraph. Be sure to quote your original source.


Gratitude List:
1. I slept most of the night last night. I have been struggling for about a week now with intense pain in my shoulder, both in the trapezius muscle and something that feels like nerve pain in the upper arm, and when I wake up at night, I haven’t been able to get back to sleep because of the pain. Last night, I finally figured out the combination of elements (yoga and acetaminophen, mostly) to allow me to get back to sleep when I woke up.
2. Titmouses (titmice?) calling in the dawn
3. Redbud trees in bloom.
4. Ferns unfurling
5. Watching the grass grow through the straw in the places where the diggers dug up the lawn last fall for the new septic system. New growth.

May we walk in Beauty!


“Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer.” —Simone Weil


“You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.” —Leymah Gbowee


“God speaks to each of us as [she] makes us, then walks with us silently out of the night. These are the words we dimly hear: You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing. Embody me.” —Rainer Maria Rilke


“I do not see a delegation of the four-footed.
I see no seat for the eagles.” —Chief Oren Lyons, Onondaga


“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” —Kurt Vonnegut


“I told them we’re tired of the culture wars, tired of Christianity getting entangled with party politics and power. Millennials want to be known by what we’re for, I said, not just what we’re against. We don’t want to choose between science and religion or between our intellectual integrity and our faith. Instead, we long for our churches to be safe places to doubt, to ask questions, and to tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable. We want to talk about the tough stuff—biblical interpretation, religious pluralism, sexuality, racial reconciliation, and social justice—but without predetermined conclusions or simplistic answers. We want to bring our whole selves through the church doors, without leaving our hearts and minds behind, without wearing a mask.” ―Rachel Held Evans


Go deeper.
Past thoughts into silence.
Past silence into stillness.
Past stillness into the heart.
Let love consume all that is left of you.
—Kabir

NPM Day 25: Ancestors

Imagine one of your ancestors, someone in the massive branching web of individuals who participated in the making of you. Write yourself a letter poem from your ancestor. Or write your ancestor a letter. Or write one to some future descendant. Roots and wings, baby.


Gratitude List:
1. The people who help from the sidelines and behind the scenes, not for accolades, because it’s who they are.
2. Book Sale and Yard Sale.
3. Smoothies
4. Yesterday, we got to see my mother-in-law in her new room. It’s the first time in over a year that we have spoken face-to-face instead of through a screen or a window. And we’re seeing my parents pretty regularly again, too
5. Green. Rain. Robin’s rain song. Wind chimes.

May we walk in Beauty!


“An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times. I think that is true of painters, sculptors, poets, musicians. As far as I’m concerned, it’s their choice, but I CHOOSE to reflect the times and situations in which I find myself. That, to me, is my duty. And at this crucial time in our lives, when everything is so desperate, when every day is a matter of survival, I don’t think you can help but be involved. Young people, black and white, know this. That’s why they’re so involved in politics. We will shape and mold this country or it will not be molded and shaped at all anymore. So I don’t think you have a choice. How can you be an artist and NOT reflect the times? That to me is the definition of an artist.” —Nina Simone


“A loving silence often has far more power
to heal and to connect than the
most well-intentioned words.” —Rachel Naomi Remen


“The secret to waking up is unscrambling the word earth.” —anonymous


“I have come to regard with some suspicion those who claim that the Bible never troubles them. I can only assume this means they haven’t actually read it.” ―Rachel Held Evans


“What a comfort to know that God is a poet.” ―Rachel Held Evans


“Geometry is the archetype of the beauty of the world.” —Johannes Kepler


“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” —John Keating (Robin Williams in Dead Poet Society)


“You are the Ground of all being
the Well-Spring of time
Womb of the earth
the Seed-Force of stars.
And so at the opening of this day
we wait
not for blessings from afar
but for You
the very Soil of our soul
the early Freshness of morning
the first Breath of day.”
—John Philip Newell

NPM Day 24: Lock and Key

Poetry Prompt for the Day:

Write a Lock and Key poem (I’m making this up as I go along).
Let the first stanza be a conundrum or a riddle, something locked or troubling or hidden behind a locked door.
Let the second stanza be the key. Offer something in the second stanza that opens the locked door to solve the conundrum or the riddle, or the puzzle of your inner world.

(Extra points if you can figure out how to write it in the shape of a keyhole and a key.)


Gratitude List:
1. Sweet compliment #1: Yesterday, a student brought me some rice pudding she had just made in foods class. It was still warm, and so delicious! She told me, “You just look like someone who would like warm pudding.” She was a little sheepish afterward, because it could sound back-handed, but I love it. I will be the woman who loves warm pudding.
2. Sweet Compliment #2: Yesterday I wore a pair of pants a friend of mine gave me. I love the velvety smoothness of them, and they push me out of my personal comfort zone, fashion-wise, but they really look like me. When I was at the doctor’s office to check out my sore shoulder, the one nurse who came in and out of the room a couple times began referring to me as the “cool outfit lady.” Here’s to a nice comfortable pair of pants.
3. These goldfinches are like dropping of fluttering sunlight.
4. Yesterday’s Earth Day chapel. Once a year, we set up different stations around the old ball field during chapel, and students wander around, tasting vegetables and meadow tea, learning to identify wildflowers on wildflower walks, playing games, fishing in the creek, and other things that the teachers set up for them. This year, we have a long lunch period with chapel as part of it, so the whole time was a lot longer than in the past. I set up a meditation station, with my labyrinth sheet. I read poetry and played recorder and led students who wandered past in breathing meditations and labyrinth walks. It was such a gently joyful time. It ended with a group of middle schoolers who just wanted to keep hanging out in the quiet space. My heart is full.
5. How making small changes in daily rhythms leads to bigger changes in outlook and perspective.

May we walk in Beauty!


“People have said to me, ‘You’re so courageous. Aren’t you ever afraid?’ I laugh because it’s not possible to be courageous if you’re not afraid. Courage doesn’t happen without fear; it happens in spite of fear. The word courage derives from ‘coeur’, the French for ‘heart.’ True courage happens only when we face our fear and choose to act anyway, out of love.” —Julia Butterfly Hill


“Where is our comfort but in the free, uninvolved, finally mysterious beauty and grace of this world that we did not make, that has no price? Where is our sanity but there? Where is our pleasure but in working and resting kindly in the presence of this world?” —Wendell Berry


“Every country should have a Ministry of Peace” —Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire


“Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.” —Tom Robbins


“I never want to lose the story-loving child in me. A story that meant one thing to me when I was forty may mean something quite different to me today.” —Madeleine L’Engle

NPM Day 23: Fools and Madmen

Lend Me Your Ears:
Today is the day that Shakespeare died. Also, although there is no definitive evidence, based on his baptismal records, it seems to have been his birthdate as well.

Write a Shakespeare Poem.
Find a simple quote from Shakespeare and weave it into a poem. Use it as an epigraph. Or begin each line of your poem with one of the words of the quote. Choose a Shakespeare play and search for words and phrases in order to make a Found Poem. Write in iambic pentameter. Write a poem from the point of view of Lear’s Fool. Write a Shakespearean sonnet (look it up). Write a poem titled “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and go from there. Write about dying on your birthday.


Gratitude:
Circles of community


“‪Good morning. There is a small, but meaningful thing you could do today in the service of your long term goal. Do that thing and then celebrate your progress with wild abandon. This is how we cultivate our dreams with a gardener’s gentle diligence.‬” —Jarod K. Anderson, The Cryptonaturalist


“Most lives are not distinguished by great achievements. They are measured by an infinite number of small ones. Each time you do a kindness for someone or bring a smile to his face, it gives your life meaning. Never doubt your value, little friend. The world would be a dismal place without you in it.” —Lisa Kleypas


“Decide to rise.
Lean in. Listen up. Closely.
It’s your soul speaking and she says,
Get UP! I need you. I want you. I am you. Choose me.
Lean in. Listen up. Closely.
Decide to rise.” —Danielle LaPorte


“What you are comes to you.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Poetry, indeed, has always been one of humanity’s sharpest tools for puncturing the shrink-wrap of silence and oppression, and although it may appear to be galaxies apart from science, these two channels of truth have something essential in common: nature, the raw material for both. To impoverish the world of the birds and the bees is to impoverish it of the bards and the biologists.” —Jane Hirschfield


“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” —Helen Keller


“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
―Jalaluddin Rumi (Barks, trans.)


“We Are…
our grandmothers’ prayers,
we are our grandfathers’ dreamings,
we are the breath of the ancestors,
we are the spirit of God.”
―Ysaye M. Barnwell

NPM Day 22: Earth Day

The fungal work of the stump is mostly dormant at the moment, but gill-on-the-grass and dandelions and faeries abide.

National Poetry Month Poetry Prompt:
Write a poem to celebrate Earth Day. Make it Prophecy, make it a Prayer, make it a Mantra for healing the planet, make it a Celebration.

Here’s mine. I’m sure it’s been done by others a hundred different ways already:
I pledge allegiance to Mother Earth,
and to the communities which she supports:
one planet, infused with Spirit,
interconnected,
with nourishment
and peace
for all.


Gratitude List on Earth Day:
1. Fresh, clear water
2. Microbe-rich soil
3. Crisp, clean air
4. Pollen, seed, and egg
5. All the living beings who inhabit Earth

May we walk humbly, in Beauty!


Earth Day Words:
“The world is, in truth, a holy place.” —Teilhard de Chardin


“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” —Henry David Thoreau


“You are your own cartographer now.” —Ralph Blum


“If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.”
―Rainer Maria Rilke


“Every creature is a word of God.” ―Meister Eckhart


“The forest for me is a temple, a cathedral of tree canopies and dancing light.” ―Dr. Jane Goodall


“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” ―The Onceler (Dr. Seuss)


“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” ―Rachel Carson


William Stafford: “I place my feet with care in such a world.”


“A society is defined not only by what it creates, but by what it refuses to destroy.” ―John Sawhill


Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ―Rachel Carson


“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full or wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year…the alienation from the sources of our strength.” ―Rachel Carson


“Few words are so revealing of Western sexual prejudice as the word Goddess, in contrast to the word God. Modern connotations differ vastly from those of the ancients, to whom the Goddess was a full-fledged cosmic parent figure who created the universe and its laws, ruler of Nature, Fate, Time, Eternity, Truth, Wisdom, Justice, Love, Birth, Death, Etc.” ―Barbara G. Walker


“Our vitality is inextricably bound up with creativity. Like a tree whose expression is fruit, giving our gifts is what keeps life pushing through our veins. It’s what keeps us feeling alive. As anyone who has strayed too far from their creativity knows, without it every corner of one’s life can fall prey to a terrible greying spread. As Kahlil Gibran writes about trees in an orchard, “They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.” —by Toko-pa Turner