The Greater New Orleans Unitarian Universalist cluster gathered in an oak-filled park on Sunday to celebrate Earth: Our Deep Home Place. As Earth Day approaches, I share with you a meditation, my invitation to celebrate our beloved planet:
Cosmologian Thomas Berry wrote “Nothing is completely itself without everything else. This relatedness is both spatial and temporal. However distant in space or time, the bond of unity is functionally there. The universe is a communion and a community. We ourselves are that communion become conscious of itself.”
We who are of the earth, children of the everything seed (http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/loveguide/session1/sessionplan/stories/168158.shtml),
we are intimately and ultimately connected to all creation. Through mystery and mutation, we have risen from the fertile mud to look around and celebrate the miracle of earth. As humans evolved, so too evolved rituals to celebrate and interpret the wonder of this place.
When Lao Tzu, the great Daoist philosopher asked, “Can you hold the door of your tent wide to the firmament?” poet Mark Nepo believes he was “challenging us not to define the world by whatever shelter we create but to let in the stars, to throw our tent of mind and heart wide open in order receive and listen to the flow of life.”
Part of my own deep sense of home place in south Louisiana comes from the insistent presence of earth here. There is no day I can travel through town without noticing the majesty and intelligence of the plied live oaks, the whip-like flexibility of the pomegranate trees, the persistent resurrection of the bananas and the gingers. Summer days hum with the life cry of the cicadas, seagulls and crows caw throughout the year, mosquitos whining past your ear, and if you listen closely, I swear you can hear termites chewing away on darned near everything.
This place takes us deep, past language, to a pre-verbal space of knowing, to a place before naming, categorizing and limiting.
When we are still, when we breathe in and breathe out, when we trust that there is space for us and everything else that emerged from the everything seed, then beloveds, we can let go of our fears and submerge ourselves into the deep sense of collective belonging, the vast compassionate love that saturates creation.
Daily we make a thousand choices that shape the earth. May we throw our tent of mind and heart wide open in order to be shaped by the earth, our deep home place.