April 19–Nature: Yes, The Earth Speaks

Yes the Earth speaks, but only to those who can hear with their hearts.

It speaks in a thousand small ways, but like our lovers and families and friends,

it often sends it messages without words.

For you see, the earth speaks in the language of love.

Its voice is the shape of a new leaf, the feel of a water worn stone, the color of

the evening sky, the smell of summer rain, the sound of the night wind.

The earth whispers are everywhere,

but only those who have slept with it can respond readily to its call.

Steve Van Matre, quoted in The Earth Pledge Book

And sometimes, the earth roars. The people in Texas currently dealing with floods, and those in Ecuador digging out from under earthquake collapsed buildings likely think so. These are earth messages, too.  I raise these other Earth messages not to bring a negative or angry message to the beautiful one above from Steve Van Matre, but to emphasize the power of listening to the voice of the Earth.  That is to say something that a group I belong to pledges when we gather:  we have a living, vital relationship with the Earth, our Mother. Healthy relationships are two way streets, at least, when it comes to communication.

When I saw the Blue Buntings flash their gorgeous blue through our back yard in early February, the sight and sign was a double edged sword, a double message from the Earth. Look what beauty!  Look at the birds migrating from their more southern wintry climes to their northern summer habitats.  But, oh, it’s still winter.  The Blue Buntings shouldn’t be passing through here yet.


Long-tongued bees and long-tubed flowers co-evolved, like this Amegilla cingulata (Apidae) on Acanthus ilicifolius. Wikipedia, used with permission.

We’ve sent our Mother messages, too.  We can burn whatever we want whenever we want. We can dig things out of you wherever we want and as much as we want, even if that is near a fault line.  We will pretend that we don’t notice the climate change.  We will ignore the increase in the shifting of the earth and near perpetual quaking near fracking sites.  We love the budding flowers, the roses and Irises that are in full glory in my garden right now. And we don’t want to hear too much about disappearing bees and monarch butterflies. We want to poison everything that we don’t like growing even if that is also killing off the pollinators.

Yes, the Earth speaks.  And yes, it does require a certain courage to listen to Her and respond.  She can be a terrible force, but she is also resilient and forgiving.  It’s a relationship that we have with the Earth, our Mother.  Listen for her messages today, and check out the ones that we are sending to her.

Bob Patrick

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