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Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone
In the 1970s, scientist James Lovelock and microbiologist Lynn Margulis developed a theory called the Gaia Principle, which proposes that Earth is an ancient, living and self-regulating system and that organisms within the system interact with the Earth to form a complex structure that maintains the conditions required for life on the planet.
For those who live close to the land—we gardeners for example–this is not some far-fetched notion. With our hands in the dirt, our eyes ever observing the natural world, and our intuition and knowledge informed by the elements, the Earth is living, whole and abundant. And Gaia has gifts for us all if we are but willing to receive them.
The Gift of Wonder: Some morning we rise and enter the garden to find a dew, bejeweled spider’s web sparkling in light of the day’s awakening. We find as we dig a garden bed the cast-off skin of a lizard or snake, magically fragile and shaped as if the inhabitant had simply dematerialized. The birdhouse we hung on the fence “just for decoration” is suddenly a nest for swallows or titmouse, and we marvel as the tiny chirps from within indicate a new family has begun. We harvest just-ripe tomatoes, and the sweet-tart flavors burst alive in our mouths. Everything we experience is an invitation to accept and revel in this gift of wonder.
The Gift of Hope: This year we struggled with not enough water and observed the oak trees begin to die. We lost the broccoli to gophers and watched as plant after plant keeled over as the roots were eaten to the nub. The tomatoes succumbed to blossom end rot and hornworms; the raspberries to lack of water and the birds. But, oh my, the peppers are simply glorious. Habaneros the color of Montezuma’s gold; Anaheim’s as long and plump as carrots, Jalapeno’s and Thai peppers and Cayenne’s as hot as they are red. What a harvest! And next year . . . well there is hope. Always there is hope. Just as we hope when we place each seed in the moist, dark earth that it will germinate and sprout, push it’s tender seedling head above the earth and GROW, so we are ever hopeful that next season, or next month, or even tomorrow, will be better than what we have just experienced.
The Gift of Patience: “Wait” is what we tell ourselves after sowing each seed. “Wait” we say again as the seedlings emerge knowing that some will never reach their full potential. “Wait” we repeat, as if a mantra, as we set the transplants into the garden beds, our eye on the weather predictions and the rain gauge. And whether we have been good stewards of the garden or not, at last we have to say once again, “Wait” as we watch the fruits of the earth grow full and round and filled with juicy, succulent ripeness. How not to develop patience in the face of such waiting? And it serves us well as we wait for children to grow strong and sure of themselves, as we wait for the fullness of our own lives to be revealed, even as we wait at the side of loved ones who are passing beyond this world. We wait with patience, and our minds and hearts are at peace.
The Gift of Community: Here we observe a nest of ants busy at their own harvesting. There the birds are filling up on tender insects that our tilling has uncovered. A ladybug patrols the plants we have carefully nurtured for the aphids that serve as her main meal. Under a leaf a praying mantis; behind the garden shed the hills and furrows of moles making air tunnels in the soil. We are all working together here in the garden. And as we look afield, we see the entire natural world, all of Gaia, working hand in glove toward creating the planet on which we all live and play and thrive. In this we are family, in this we are all connected, in this we ARE community.
This year at your Thanksgiving table, set a place for Gaia, and when you give thanks remember that everything upon that table is a gift from her living, generous and abundant hands.