Let’s pause for a moment to consider how the environment has responded to COVID. There is now a reduction in carbon footprint, everything has slowed down even the destruction of rainforests and other natural habitats. Massive pollution has halted. We are starting to see the smog lift from places like LA, Spring has been allowed to foster regrowth without contamination, and the price of oil has plummeted. In this moment, I think the earth is taking advantage of protecting itself and its natural resources; regenerating itself before humans start destroying it again. Historically, plague and disease have caused the slowing down of our busy lives and sometimes we have seen the full interruption of the “business as usual” routine. While we sometimes lose respect for the importance of coexisting with nature, and how dependent we are on its resources for survival, taking for granted its generosity — does this living, breathing, spiritual organism also have its limits on how much abuse it will allow?
From the beginning of time, the relationship between nature and humankind has been complex. We can stand in awe and respect of nature, in its beauty and power. As humankind has evolved, we’ve attempted to control and use nature for our own individual purposes. Our society has abused nature and its resources, causing intentional, undeniable, and irreversible damage to our land, oceans, and atmosphere. We have changed the worlds climate.
Ancestrally, for people of color in particular, being spiritually connected to mother earth is essential for our survival. We as a people developed a high regard for the fact that we could rely on nature to provide for our needs. Our relationship with nature brought us to the deadly seas when we were forced onto slave ships, to the fields we farmed in slavery- where we were forced to give birth, endured abuse and even death. Later in history, when we found ourselves with nothing more than meager and often barren pieces of land, we cultivated this resource and nurtured it, appreciative of any and all of the fruits it provided. We used these resources to build houses for our families, protect us from harm, feed us, and keep us ALIVE.
Today, are there ways that we can move forward in a place of gratitude for our connection to nature? This is an opportunity for a reset, using our five senses which is what kenetically connects us most to mother earth.
- SIGHT- Reestablish your relationship with nature. Go for a walk outside, a hike, a stroll. Enjoy the beauty of the seasons changing, look at the grass turning into a vibrant green color, observe the cherry blossoms as they mature, relish at sights that are right in front of you.
- TOUCH- Reset your intentions with the soil. Can you start a garden in your backyard, till soil and get it ready for seedlings? Get rid of any waste that does not belong around you. Can you plant something at a community garden, to help make urban communities more self-sufficient, with organic food products, and by preventing food deserts?
- TASTE- Make your favorite meal, mix ingredients together and experiment with something new. Cook your favorite meal or make a family recipe you haven’t tried in years, or ever at all. Enjoy a meal from your favorite restaurant, they are struggling right now and need your support. Enjoy that meal more than any other time, because this meal may mean another day open for this business, another day of employment for a worker. Make homemade tea, blend up your favorite smoothie, try making cookies from scratch. Taste the goodness of your love in the food that you eat.
- HEAR — Listen to the birds chirping in song, the squirrels running and climbing, the children laughing, the music that feeds your soul. Music is healing, it brings happiness, it makes us move and dance, it is our rhythmic connection to mother earth. Whether you turn up with D-Nice, Soca artist Kes or Lyrikal, John Legend, or the NY Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, all of it is healing music to our ears.
- SMELL — Breath is such an important part of our spiritual practice with nature, she gives us what we need and we give her what she needs. Smell the flowers, burn some sage, light an incense or a favorite candle. Aroma is therapy. Cleanse the air you breathe and create a bouquet that is pleasing and calming. Then take deep breaths, learn to take in the oxygen that you need to develop healthy lungs.
Above all, make sure you FEEL:
FEEL by anchoring in your spirituality. Be still, meditate, concentrate on the healing of our greatest resource— mother earth. Center your energy on her restoration. Be one, in body, spirit and soul with nature. Engage in a yoga practice outside and be thankful for the opportunity to share space with nature.
Let the sun shine its full glory on you, feel its majestic warmth on your face and know that you are loved.
** April 22nd- Celebrate National Earth Day**