The Spirit of Place

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Folks mostly think of environmental issues as matters of policy and economics and science. They may feel it's a nice thought to protect nature but it's not anything that affects the individual in any meaningful way except maybe to put a few hard working people out of jobs whenever some nut decides that they can't kill off a worthless fish or bird or bug or weed.

I submit to you the thought that perhaps everything that is, is connected. What hurts the spotted owl will eventually hurt you and me - they just happen to be on the front lines and are a bit more fragile. It really will all come back around to us eventually... and probably already is.

All cultures have a sense that it is wrong to waste, to wantonly destroy. All cultures that survive have a respect for what is around them; it's just foolish to soil one's own nest.

Often that respect is expressed in terms of Deity - that the Being which is ultimately responsible for all there is, requires of us to respect not only our close family of humankind, but also all the rest of who and what surrounds us. What if Deity were reflected in everything? What if we could feel the sacredness of all there is - would we then perhaps have a bit more respect? Would we See? Would we Remember? Would we Know?



The Spirit of Place



North
You are present:
In fertile earth of sand and loam and clay and stone,
In rock upstanding, strong in truth and silence;

North by East
You are present:
In whirlwinds' prickly playful dances,
In tornado lifting stones to give them flight;

East
You are present:
In cool and gentle evening breezes,
In fierce strong winds that clear our minds and bring your wisdom;

East by South
You are present:
In searing, shimmering desert wind,
In hungry storm of racing fire, eating all that lies before it;

South
You are present:
In flames of focused intense will,
In sizzling heat of noonday summer sun;

South by West
You are present:
In rising boiling columns of the geyser,
In hotsprings' healing cauldrons;

West
You are present:
In sweet creek waters rushing downward,
In still pools and in your ocean womb,
In rains we drink that dare to rise, to fall again;

West by North
You are present:
In great and scouring flooded muddy rivers,
In glacial rocks that dream in beds of flowing ice;

North by South
You are present:
In fiery stone of molten lava;

East by West
You are present:
In muffled cool of morning fog;

Around
You are present:
In leaf and bough, and spore and bloom,
In new spring growth and dancing autumn's tired yawn;

Above
You are present:
In fin and fur and skin and scale and feather,
In all of life that cycles 'round;

Below
You are present:
In children's laughter, elders' memory,
In binding ties of lover to beloved;

Center
You are present:
In each of us, the center of our being,
In this place and in this time;


You are present:
Welcome...welcome...welcome!



Copyright 1995 Anna Eule (all rights reserved);
used with permission

 


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