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Posts Tagged ‘earth’

Earth, my dearest, I will. Oh believe me, you no longer need your springtimes to win me over – one of them, ah, even one, is already too much for my blood. Unspeakably, I have belonged to you, from the first.
~  Rainer Maria Rilke

The Earth doesn’t care about age or wrinkles.  What’s a decade or two when you’re a billion years old and a few cracks when you’re scarred regularly by earthquakes? 

And what does the Earth care about how often the floor is swept? It considers last autumn’s litter simply next year’s humus.

And so what does the Earth value?  Could the persistence of grass be a clue?

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
~ Kahlil Gibran

New life amid the forest debris

Where man finds dissatisfaction, the Earth finds promise and the potential for renewal. Fallen trees and fallen leaves are all cherished for what they can offer now, not just the strength and beauty they possessed in days gone by.

Male woodpecker clinging to the underside of a fallen birch tree

Spring is in the air and it’s Earth Day.   Get outdoors and let yourself fall in love.

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The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year, but that we should have a new soul.
~ G.K. Chesterton

In the blink of an eye, another year has come and gone.   The Earth is changing.  Could we be too?  Here in Cow Bay, we had our share of the extreme weather that made headline news across Canada in 2010.  Numerous storm surges caused flooding along the coast while high winds brought down tall trees. 

Still, there was much to be thankful for. 

A mild winter and very early spring made hearts light.  The warm summer that followed brought gorgeous blooms and amazing tree growth.  When fall’s leaves finally turned, many welcomed the cool, fresh air on the tails of a wicked September heat wave.  This winter has been very mild with little snowfall to date.  Surely cold and snow are lurking just beyond the corner of the new year.

Though we may not have any control over the weather, we do have control over our response to it.  As weather patterns continue to change in the year ahead, I wonder how we will respond both individually and collectively.  Will we become smarter planners like the ants, or more likely to sing in the sun while it’s shining like the grasshoppers?  Perhaps a little of both.

Natural phenomena and the effect of Nature on the spirit were frequent topics among my posts in 2010.  I especially enjoyed writing about Nature’s potential to teach, comfort and inspire:

A few posts even made it to the front page of WordPress in 2010. 

Deforestation, aggressive coyotes and our vulnerable coastline will continue to be concerns in the year ahead.  However,  regardless of what Nature has in store for us in 2011, we will always have much to be thankful for, including one another.  Happy new year and happy trails to all in 2011!

All are but parts of one stupendous whole, whose body Nature is, and God the soul.
~ Alexander Pope

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heart of the poppy copyright 2009 Amy-Lynn Bell

The heart of the poppy remembers. 

During the Napoleonic era,  it was first noticed that blood red poppies bloomed in fields that had seen battle.  Somehow, the earth remembered.  Later it was discovered that the chalk in the soil reacted with the lime left from the rubble  created during battles.  Regardless of the science, what is most important is that the poppies remembered.  Human activity did not go unnoticed by nature.

And if the earth can remember pain and suffering, I wonder, can it not also remember joy?

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

~ Kahlil Gibran

grass and moss

Does the grass remember the children who ran across it barefoot all those years ago?  Do the trees remember the boys who played their army games from their makeshift bases among them in the woods?  Now the boys are grown and war is no longer a game.   If the forest can remember, does it also long for their return?

old birch
Long after I am gone, and the trees and grass are still here, will they continue to hold the memories of the boys who played among them?  These boys who too quickly grew into men and travelled far from home?  And one who especially liked to run barefoot through the woods and is now serving in Afghanistan, a land known for its poppies, and the ravages of its war?  

I hope so.  But if the trees and grass forget, I’m sure the poppies that spring up every year in the front yard will remind them.

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fox tracks

It’s so easy for us to take the earth beneath our feet for granted. It demands nothing of us. We know it has nowhere else to go. It’s here to stay.

The earth nourishes. Its stability enables seeds to grow. Animals dig in it and make tunnels and dens for shelter.  The sand at left was dug out of dunes by foxes at Rainbow Haven Beach.

The colors of the earth are varying shades of brown, oranges and yellows.  This element is found in nature in the light sand on the beach, rich dark soil and compost in gardens, shifting desert sands, clay, mud and stones.

An agricultural adage says the tiny animals that live below the surface of a healthy pasture weigh more than the cows grazing above it.   In a catalogue selling composting equipment I read that two handfuls of healthy soil contain more living organisms than there are people on the earth.  What these beings are and what they can be doing is difficult to even begin to comprehend,  but it helps to realize that even though they are many,  they work as one.
~Carol Williams
Bringing a Garden to Life, 1998

earth

Images from our scavenger hunt illustrate earth’s many forms, from the red Australian sand to the wet seashore in England and beautiful fields in British Columbia and Michigan.  The image of a cave entrance from Scene Through My Eyes reveals earth’s mysterious qualities of depth and hidden strength.

Earth images in the montage above were taken from submissions to a Midsummer’s Scavenger Hunt.

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red leaf

Five elements are thought to exist in Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice of interpreting environments.  These are:  earth, water, fire, metal and wood.  Colors are also believed to represent these elements.  In the image above, a blazing red leaf gives the impression of fire. Its fire quality is emphasized even more by its triangular shape which is reminiscent of the tongue of a flame.

stones

Brown garden stones, shown supporting one another above, represent the earth element, a symbol for wisdom.  Along with browns, yellows and oranges also allude to the nurturing earth.  Square shapes emphasize this element even further.  

green stems

The wood element, which symbolizes growth, is ubiquitous in a forest landscape where it is revealed in a variety of greens.  Yet, even near the ocean or in the city, green growth is not difficult to find.  The branch shape in the green floral stems above, found along a salt marsh, underlines the wood element in this image even further.

grey rainbow haven

White, grey, silver and gold reveal the metal element in nature.  Positively, this element can communicate strength and solidity.  Negatively, it can suggest sadness, as in the image above, of an overcast and rainy day at the beach.

Blue Flag Iris

Water can be represented in a landscape by a pond or stream, but also by the presence of cool, dark blues as shown in the Blue Flag Iris at left.  A bed of black tulips planted in the shape of a meander would be especially representational of the water element.

Like nature, color can be both simple and complex.  It never ceases to amaze or arouse wonder in those who seek to understand it better.

This post is written to provide further insight into the relationship between the elements and color in nature, as first introduced in my earlier post about a Midsummer’s Scavenger Hunt.

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.
~ Georgia O’Keefe

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