I am one of those people who wished I could do more for the environment. I mean, I plant flowers and I try not to make a lot of waste and I love to see the green places and trees that cover the mountains and the critters who sometimes visit the yard. I feel close to the earth in my little green patch and I love it.
I am a Christian but sometimes I feel like a little pagan about the green things because my religion says this earth will pass away and we should not count on the survival of the earth. And I do believe that. But I think in many ways the earth's demise and ours is because we are not doing the very first job God gave his little humans when he made us and that is to be caretakers of the garden.
No, we are not caretakers of the garden. I heard one preacher say we are no longer responsible for the earth because the old earth, including the Garden of Eden was washed away in the flood, never to be seen again...And really, I sort of believe some of that statement because we won't ever see God's Garden again. And that is because of us.
Not because we are sinners, but because we are humans. We don't love what we are not close to and I think that is the reason why Earth will die and we will be evicted. Mother Earth is trying her very best to shake us off her skin with earth quakes and wild fires and hurricanes and floods because she is tired of us leaching off her. In Avatar, the hero, Jake Sully comes to chat with Awah, the mother goddess the Navi worship. He tells her "They killed their mother," and I believe we have.
I try to imagine our world the way it must have been when the Native Americans lived here. No great buildings, most Native Americans were semi nomadic and they had rules about resources. They would leave one camp for another to allow the ground to heal, to encourage the animals to come back and they left no trace of themselves except the memories of the elders. I think about the bears and the deer and the panthers and wild cats and the huge turkey buzzards and the hawks and eagles that used to call WV home. I think about the wild things that grew here and the innocent children of nature who lived here and thanked the Mother and her children for every bite of food in their mouths and every sip of water and every breath they took because all of it was precious. It was not a right to have, it was a privilege and if you didn't show respect and bless the spirits of all things all around you, they abandoned you to starvation and disease so ungrateful people would die off and leave grateful people behind.
But then there is this change, so called "civilized people" came and they scarred the earth and they took more than they needed and they killed for pleasure..not just each other...but their brethren, the bears and the deer and birds and they gave no thanks, asked no pardon, revered no soul...except theirs. Which is sad. Because they God they worship starts out his relationship with them as a gardener.
Pagans believe in a God and Goddess. They take many forms, but one of those forms is of the Green Man and Mother Earth. I feel no confusion in seeing the Christian God that way, because God was a gardener and he wanted us to take care of his garden. And the Garden of Eden was not just a place...it was the world entire. Wherever you put your foot there is the Garden of Eden. And when you do not spare her a moment, our Mother, our Eden, then we ignore our first job, our first parent. God created us, we are told, from the earth, from the Mother, and he blew the breath of life into us and made us in his image and the animals were not afraid of us and we named them and we cared for the earth. Man's sin was not simply eating the apple, it was he ate the apple and didn't plant the seeds so more trees could grow and more apples be made.
We are known by our fruits, or so the book says, and though it is a metaphor for living right and being good, it is a truth. What do you give back to the mother when you enjoy her bounty? I know not everyone lives on a farm or a rural place, but...even just planting flowers or picking up a piece of trash on the side walk or sharing clothes with people or being thrifty or walking to places instead of driving everywhere....this is a way of showing appreciation for our world. So even the city bound can be naturalists. And hug that tree a little, she will like it and I suggest you will too....
Peace and Blessed Be