I spent this morning biking up the trail in my neighborhood. The air was blanketed with smoke from the 4 wildfires currently burning in the mountains of Colorado. As I write this, the Pine Gulch fire near Grand Junction is the 4th largest fire in Colorado history, with over 81,000 acres burned. And while firefighters work tirelessly to stop the blaze, the flames continue to burn through huge areas of dry vegetation.
As I was biking, I thought about the impacts that humans have had on the planet and the idea for this poem flooded my brain. I pulled over on the side of the trail and furiously recorded the words below. I don't consider myself a poet, but it felt good to release these long-held emotions. For decades, we have been seeing the man-made impacts to the world around us... pollution in the air and sea, rising temperatures, animals murdered for their skin, natural landscapes permanently altered by farms and oil fields... the list could go on and on. And I certainly have been a part of the change to the natural world. I drive a large SUV, use plastic, eat foods like avocados that are transported long distances to get to my grocery store, fly on airplanes for vacations, get random things delivered to my door that I order on the internet... you get the idea.
While I recognize my role in the changes to our planet, I also feel strongly that when we can connect with Mother Nature on a regular basis, we respect her more. We try harder to live a simple and eco-friendly life. Being outside brings energy and happiness to my life, so I work hard to live in alignment with the rhythms of the natural world. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But at least the intention is there!
So my hope by sharing this poem is that it inspires you to take a few baby steps today toward treating our Mother a little kinder. May we all tread lightly on her soil and love her deeply.
ODE TO MY MOTHER
Mother Earth, we abuse you,
Disrespect and confuse you
For a smorgasbord for which to rape and plunder.
Mother Earth, I see you
And hope one day we free you
From the tyrannical rule which you are under.
So many years living in neglect
Only asking for our respect.
I feel your pain
Going weeks without rain
That your only choice was to burn.
I feel the tug and yearn
For the day when humans and nature join as one.
It seems as though a new era has begun
Where we unite
In the global fight
To remedy your plight.
One thing I know for sure
Is that you, my Mother, will always endure.
Powerful beyond this human disease,
That chops your trees
And pollutes your seas.
Your course we may alter
But you will not falter.
Continuing long beyond our life
One day soon to be rid of this strife.
Until you finally heal from this man-made pain
And are once again flooded with rain.