When I started this list I was listening to the wind wildly howling outside of my home. Although we had no snow yet, Winter was definitely knocking at the door. I dislike not having a blanket of snow on the ground when the wind howls, I worry about my lavender which can dry out in strong wind. I worry about my thyme whose tiny roots can freeze without a winter blanket. And I get concerned that the water table will not be properly replenished without the moisture of snow.
Wind can be an inconvenience to me when it blows my mulch around the backyard, and can be a threat to me when it becomes a destructive force during weather events. But I remind myself that this wind is a gift. This is the wind that blows fresh air into my lungs. This is the wind that disperses the seeds that will be this summer’s bounty. This is the wind that will bring in the warmer weather to come. This is the wind that shapes the landscapes that shape my life.
Every minute of every day in every season we receive gifts from the earth. That’s why, to celebrate Earth Day this year, I decided to give myself an Earth Day Challenge:
List 51 reasons why I am grateful for the earth. (It is the 51st Earth Day this year and we so did not celebrate last year!)
At first it seemed like a tedious task, but about halfway through I noticed that the more gratitude I listed, the more gratitude I felt, and the rest of the list was done in a flash. That’s the way these things work. Fear leads to more fear. Gratitude leads to more gratitude. And more gratitude leads to more gifts. So this year for Earth Day, I have decided to focus on the gifts I receive from the earth.
By the time I reached the end, I had renewed my appreciation and commitment to giving back to the earth as best I can. Isn’t that what Earth Day is all about? Good luck, and remember to share your lists to spread the gratitude!
This Earth Day, I Am Grateful For:
- The wind’s power and presence.
- The beautiful sunset today.
- The fresh drinking water that comes into my faucet from an underground well.
- The trees around me. I always feel sheltered. Not to mention their gift of oxygen!
- The seasons. They encourage me to remember that change is good and necessary.
- The smell of lavender, which is very calming to me.
- Bees. Besides the gifts of honey and wax, they pollinate plants so that humans can enjoy the fruits.
- Rocks. Many indigenous people call rocks the grandfathers of the earth. They hold the wisdom of the earth as they humbly hold up my home.
- The knowledge and wisdom that
I have gained from watching my herbs grow.
- The reliability of earth’s cycles (daily, monthly, yearly, etc.) is very grounding.
- The song of frogs in the spring. It makes me want to sing, too!
- The few inches that my shoulders drop when I go into nature.
- Turtles. They teach me patience and persistence.
- The satisfaction of planting a seed in the spring and watching it grow all summer.
- Spring flowers, which bring hope after a long winter.
- The experience of absolute stillness and peace that can be found in certain places on this earth. It reminds me to slow down and listen.
- Medicines I have created that have come directly from the earth.
- The feeling of my bare feet in grass. Aaahhhh!
- The freshness of the air in wintertime, especially after a snow.
- The smell of fallen pine needles in the sunshine
- The changeability of nature. It’s very rare to see the same exact thing twice.
- The extremes in nature that collectively create balance. Our earth has darkest and lightest, highest and lowest, biggest and smallest, hottest and coldest.
- Eagles that amaze me in their strength and power.
- The clouds in the sky that warn of upcoming weather and amuse me with their designs.
- The ocean. It can be a very relaxing place, but also exhilarating!
- The end of a hot summer day when the cicadas start calling, the fireflies come out, and the relief of coolness is finally felt.
- Resources from the earth such as sun, coal, oil and wind that provide me with heat and power.
- The times I have seen the earth physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually heal people.
- Human beings. We are as much a part of the earth as the crow that calls and the leaves that fall.
- The diversity on this planet in people, plants and animals. This keeps our ecosystems strong and resilient.
- The yearly emergence of butterflies reminds me to live within the natural stages of my life.
- The adaptability of nature and people.
- The dead squirrel in the road, it reminds me to slow down.
- The song of the chickadee.
- Water. It can take any form, can serve any purpose, and keeps us all alive.
- The light of sun and moon
that brightens the dark reaches.
- Zinnias, an explosion of color that can last all summer.
- Comfrey – purple flowers and large leaves that enhance the growing of other plants
- The change of flowers as spring blooms give way to summer flowers and changes the atmosphere.
- The smell of lemon herbs as I harvest them and the brightening of my mood as a result.
- Rain as it nourishes the earth, feeds the plants and cleans the air.
- Sunshine as it sparkles of the dew in the early morning when I rise.
- Birds who take a bath in my rain garden after a large summer rain.
- Skipper butterflies playing games in the afternoon glow of my front yard.
- The blooming of the perennial herbs in late summer to bring delight to the cooling weather.
- The flowering of shade plants the brighten the gloom.
- The crack of thunder in a summer storm.
- The texture of bark on the trees as one strolls through the woods.
- The smell of lilacs on the fence line.
- The electricity of a summer rain when everything is that much greener.
- The sudden release of scent when I brush against scented geraniums on my steps, it reminds me to pause and experience my day.
So do you have things to be greatful for from the earth? Share them with me!