Sunday, April 19, 2015

What are you doing for your Mother on EARTH DAY 2015?

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Socrates

“Earth Day is a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. Earth Day was founded by Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. While this first Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations.It is celebrated in more than 175 countries.” Wikipedia reference

Just as we humans need to protect, nurture, and feed ourselves, we can offer to the planet, our Mother Earth, respect, protection, and nurturance.  “Given the present rate of planetary pollution and destruction, we need to negotiate a detente with nature and ourselves.” Paul Hawken. There are many positive actions taking place all over the world. For instance, there are over six thousand different women’s groups in Africa planting trees and four thousand organizations in North America have adopted a river, creek, or stream. Organic agriculture is the fastest growing sector of farming in North America, Japan, Mexico and Europe.  There are three thousand organizations that educate farmers, customers and legislators about sustainable and biological agriculture. The world is now understanding the need to move away from the dirty carbon based energies of the past 150 years into the clean and renewable energy future.  Solar, wind and wave energy technologies are just a few of the bright stars this future will be based on.

Our indigenous first peoples of the Americas have given the long held wisdom that we should always be thinking of the next seven generations to come in our interactions with Mother Earth. It is said that we do not own the earth, we borrow it from our children.  Many of us are just now coming to understand that the earth is taking care of us and not the other way around. Our actions have far reaching effects and consequences on our planet, climate, oceans and air. Droughts, flooding, super storms, melting of the glaciers and the ice caps in the north and south poles are just some indications of severe climate change.

“Great Spirit, whose dry lands thirst, help us to find the way to refresh your lands.
We pray for the power to refresh your lands.

Great Spirit, whose waters are choked with debris and pollution, help us to find the way to cleanse your waters.
We pray for your knowledge to find a way to cleanse the waters.

Great Spirit, whose beautiful earth grows ugly with misuse, help us to find the way to restore beauty to your handiwork.
We pray for your strength to restore the beauty of your handiwork.

Great Spirit, whose great creatures are being destroyed, help us to find a way to replenish them.
We pray for your power to replenish the earth.

Great Spirit, whose gifts to us are being lost in selfishness and corruption, help us to find the way to restore our humanity.
We pray for the wisdom to find the way to restore our humanity.”  UN Environmental Sabbath Program

It was our honor yesterday to help the Cub Scouts of troop 714 of San Clemente Las Palmas school to plant eight California Laurel Bay trees for their Earth Day celebration in their new camping area at Oso Lake. This was the first experience planting trees for this troop. They worked hard digging the holes, preparing the soil and placing the trees in the ground.  As we worked together, we had the opportunity to share the value of planting trees and how this action helps the future of the planet.  The scouts were amazed to learn that trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. As the work continued, their understanding of the cycle of life deepened. As we finished placing the last tree in the ground, a red tail hawk flew directly over our heads making her voice known to all of us.  It was clear that this sign was a good one and the spirit of the hawk was saying thank you.

How can we help to make Earth Day everyday? Here are some ideas:

    Plant trees
    Conserve water
    Walk or ride your bike to school or work
    Use public transportation
    Make your home energy efficient

To learn more visit the websites below:

Remember, on Earth Day and everyday, we are all part of the earth.

Joyce and Gene

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tree of Life

Tree of Life   

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness”.   John Muir
While hiking through the woods in Sequoia National Park one summer, we came upon a grove of redwood trees.  Entering the group of Standing Ones, we felt ourselves become quiet as the awe within us grew.  The trees formed an almost perfect circle.   Allowing the silence of the place to sink in, we breathed deeply of the forest scent and relaxed into the peace surrounding us.  In this sacred grove of trees, we felt the connection with the Infinite.
In our home, we have on our walls beautiful woven pieces depicting “The Tree of Life”
symbol.   Each was created by a weaver from a different culture: Indian, Guatemalan, Native American.  The Tree of Life is a common image in art from around the world.  This ancient symbol is understood by people everywhere.  The symbol speaks of roots buried in the earth with branches stretching upward to the sky.  The tree serves as a living connection between this and other worlds.  Many myths describe gods and their messengers traveling from one world to another by climbing up or down the tree.
Long ago, in many cultures, trees were intensely worshipped. The Native American peoples called them the “Standing Ones.”  They respectfully used trees for medicine, food, fiber, dye, musical instruments, lodges for habitation and ceremony, and many other things.  Something precious was lost once modern peoples no longer viewed trees as living beings.  It became easy to clear cut acres and acres of trees to use as lumber without a thought of how great a loss this created.  For the sake of our Mother Earth, it is time to recall Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s words, “Reverence for all life.”                                          
We cannot live without trees.  Trees are called “the lungs of the world.”  They clean the air we breathe, taking in the carbon dioxide we exhale and we breathe the oxygen they exhale. Trees are needed to produce rain and without the rain, topsoil is blown away, leading to the creation of deserts and hunger from famine.
“Oxford University scientists, after years of research, have determined the best technology to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and try to reverse global warming is to plant trees.” (Bloomberg News)
Over the past seven years, we have planted over two hundred trees in Orange County, CA. Man has taken so many trees that it is now time for us to reforest the earth that provides us with the basis for all life.  Your help is desperately needed to replenish trees, locally and around the world. “God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.”  John Muir We must always remember that we are all part of the earth.
Here are some links for free trees and groups planting trees that need your help:
Love, Gene and Joyce