EARTH GRIEF

by Sherry Marr of Stardreaming With Sherry Blue Sky

I have always been a strong, stoic person. I had to be; as a single mother of four, I was the one who had to get everybody through, look after everyone else, be a strong oak, for my fledglings to lean on. But seven years ago, my beloved wolf-dog, my soul mate this lifetime, died, and since then I have cried a river of tears. They come so easily now, especially for animals, both domestic and wild, and the cruel, sad or dangerous lives so many of them live because of humans.

Recently, I have identified the grief I carry as “earth grief”. I cannot bear what is happening to Mother Earth because of us, mainly because of corporate greed, and the leaders ruled by corporate money and lust for power, entities who are stealing our childrens’ futures for profit now, at the expense of even our questionable survival as a species. I hear so clearly how Mother Earth is crying. She is speaking her distress in all the languages she has: extinctions, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, warming seas, and melting icecaps. But when the octopuses started walking out of the sea along the Welsh coast and beaching themselves, it was too much. What is causing dozens of octopuses to walk out of the sea, night after night, lying limply on the sand, dying? Is it earthquakes underwater, magnetic activity at the poles? Warming or polluted waters? Starvation? How inhospitable a climate is the sea for them, that they prefer a quick certain death to a slower one? What is Mother Ocean trying to tell us?

I know we don’t have four more years under rule by a climate change denier to ignore the urgency of our situation. I applaud those local and regional governments which intend to continue addressing climate change (and social justice) in the midst of the chaos. I am heartened by such groups as Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots, and the Tree Sisters: Women Seeding Change, who aim to plant a billion trees worldwide this year. In my village, I plan to gather a group of women and plant trees here, too, in spring, once the winter rains have stopped. Even in the rainforest, we have lost too many trees. The rainforest is changing, getting hotter, drier.

More trees will help, but not enough. For forty years, I have understood climate change and the urgent need, even back then, to switch to clean and breakthrough energy. And here we are, with fossil fuels all but obsolete, with rulers and corporations still determined to run pipes through sacred land and endanger water sources for millions. It makes no sense. The choice is always “the economy” over climate. Yet switching to clean energy systems is not only cleaner, it makes economic sense, creating jobs for millions, while easing pressure on the planet, using natural systems we already have in abundance: solar, wind, and water.

And now we have a president (sorry, no capital “P” for him), who wants to mine for uranium in the Grand Canyon, removing protections for wildlife and the wild sacred places. I would despair, except that is not an option. I feel the resignation of age and wisdom creeping over what once was my indefatigable hope: I believed for so long that the transformation of consciousness would occur in time. But humans learn the hard way. Perhaps we will transform after everything collapses and life is untenable.

Or perhaps the human experiment has failed. I know we can do better, we are meant to do better. On a smaller scale, in singular human lives, many of us DO do better. We do what we can, what we are moved to do. But the globe is full of the starving, and dispossessed,  those displaced by war and by climate. Chaos, bombings, gunfire, death, destroyed lives are everywhere:  warring factions who see only Other, and not our shared humanity. Heartbreak is universal on this beautiful planet, that would be our garden if we opened our eyes and our consciousness. And our hearts.

In the middle of it all, even given our misuse and abuse of her, Mother Earth gives to us so generously. Like a human mother, she gives even when we take without giving back. She gives us chance after chance, implores us to heed her wisdom, and we walk off laughing. We are still children. It is when we are old that we will remember and will realize what she was trying to tell us.

Because I refuse to give up hope, I will end with a quote from my friend, environmentalist Valerie Langer, who once said, “Mother Earth can feel your pain. Let her feel your joy too.” So I walk on the beach. I commune with Grandfather Cedar. I raise my eyes to the sky in gratitude for the gift of life and all of  its beauty. Unspeakable beauty, coupled with unbearable sorrow.  I speak for the wolves, for the starving polar bears, for the dying and diseased salmon. And for those desperate octopuses walking out of the sea. Wake up, humankind, while there is still a very small window of time. Wake up.

 

 

Sherry (Blue Sky) Marr lives and writes on the wild West Coast of Vancouver Island in Canada. One of her online personas is Wild Woman, a crone who shares her wisdom and witticisms on days when her cognitive faculties are firing. Sherry writes both poetry and prose, and has been writing since she was fourteen. She blogs at Stardreaming With Sherry Blue Sky, (http://stardreamingwithsherrybluesky.blogspot.ca)   and has been on staff at Poets United, (http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.ca),  an international poetry group, since 2010.

 

 

Written for Rage Against the Machine Month.  If you’d like to be a part of the challenge, find more information Here.   But first, leave a comment and let Sherry know what you think about what she’s shared, and be sure to visit her over at Stardreaming With Sherry Blue Sky when you’re done.

 

Featured image via www.stardreamingwithsherrybluesky.blogspot.ca

18 Comments

  1. I’m so glad that you brought earth grief to the rage series. It has to be here. What we are doing to our planet is unconscionable and yet, we just go on, knowingly destroying our only home. For convenience, for money, for spite, for apathy – there are no reasonable justifications for what we are doing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I resonate with everything you have said and you have said it so articulately and passionately and so much from your heart.

    I thought I would mention one thing about tree planting. I live in Seattle so the weather might be similar to where you are on Vancouver Island, or maybe not. The belief of the organizations I work with here are that the time to plant trees is from the end of October until the end of March. It starts when the rains start and stops at the end of the rainy season. That way the root systems can grow during the rainy period and because of that will be more likely to survive during the summer when there is no rain. You mentioned rain forest though so I’m thinking the guidelines in the rain forest may be completely different. Still, it is an interesting difference between two locations that are so close together.

    Thanks so much for writing this post. I will pass it on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. And I will ask the biosphere people here about planting times, that is a good idea. It does make sense that the rain would give the roots better purchase. I’ll find out. I live in Tofino, On the Edge, lol. Perhaps you have heard of it. A spectacularly beautiful place. If you get the chance, do come see it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love Tofino! I have been there once to go kayaking, and planned to go back for a whole month. I was enthralled with the place. I may show up next summer!

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  3. Planet Earth’s demise is so excruciating most of us are in denial. Someone said to me the other day “You come from Earth just like the rest of us, you know.” And this came out of my mouth: “I come from grief.” And now i’m thinking it would make some sense to change the name of the planet to Grief.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. thanks so much Sherry. You gave voice to what I am feeling also, stunned in disbelief. And I love your reminding us to share our joy and love the incredible beauty Mother Earth continues to give us each day.

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  5. Every word of yours come down to us from your loving heart, Sherry. Hope people come to their senses. Alas! it won’t be for corporate greed would not let it be. It is they who are the rulers everywhere. Mother Earth knows how to recuperate but She is giving humans a chance to be more human. She won’t take a second to eliminate this vicious species from the earth’s face when needs be.

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  6. This is such an incredibly poignant write, Sherry!❤️ Especially resonate with; “I raise my eyes to the sky in gratitude for the gift of life and all of its beauty. Unspeakable beauty, coupled with unbearable sorrow” and “Heartbreak is universal on this beautiful planet, that would be our garden if we opened our eyes and our consciousness. And our hearts.” Sigh.. we must open our eyes and strive to save the Earth! Thank you so much for adding your voice to the series.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A very moving piece that starts with I kept throughout, of a wolf hound (Borzoi) because I’ve seen many at my sister’s home (she used to breed them). Mother earth is certainly shouting at us and weeping. I find more adults are awakened about the earth when they get involved with their school age children. I wonder if schools and universities could pool together to make their voices louder. BC has always been a model for the rest of Canada in environmental issues.

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