by June Cotner, editor of Earth Blessings
As a child I was always drawn to the outdoors … as an adult, I still am! Some of the most memorable times in my life have been spent surrounded by nature. To this day, I continue to hike regularly—and I honestly don’t know where I would be without the solace of wilderness.
But we don’t need to be in the wilderness to experience the beauty of nature. At home, I continue to be astonished by the everyday marvels that surround me—birds, plants, animals, sky, sunshine, and moonlight. These things serve as reminders that we can carry nature with us wherever we go.
It was the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson that first drew my attention to the fragile nature of the environment. I read it in college and her words opened my mind to the notion that human actions could affect the very ecosystems upon which our lives depend.Where would we be if we did not have Mother Earth to rely upon? How can we view humanity, if not through the lens that is the world around us? And what does the state of the world today say to our communities and to our children?
It is my belief that the sacred can be found not in things abstract and ethereal, but in the earth itself. I hope that, by reading Earth Blessings, we may all come to realize what a vital place the earth holds, not only in our relationships with one another, but in our relationships with the world we live in.
Many books have been written on the practical aspects of living green, but only a few focus on the spiritual. I set out to create a book that would be an ecological celebration, complete with inspiring poems, interfaith prayers, and spiritual prose. In Earth Blessings, I have chosen selections from over ten years’ worth of collected material, pieces that authentically speak to the earth and to the intricate ties that bind us to it.
As Henry David Thoreau said, “Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.” I hope Earth Blessings will encourage us to look more deeply at our unique planet with a global awareness and respect, to gently remind us to do our part in sustaining an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, and to cherish Earth for the presence of the divine that appears to us through the natural world.
You can order Earth Blessings here. Happy Earth Day!