What is necessary for us humans to cultivate a sustainable, creative, optimistic relationship with all life on our Mother Earth?
The underpinning of this task is our inborn but often disregarded love for Nature, for the Green World. Inhabiting this love requires our hearts to get bigger, to hold more, and to expand into the infinite, living field of love that originates in the Earth herself. In this field, we each know our own heart as a welcoming, caring container for all beings and places on our beautiful planet, and not as a discriminatory tool for sorting out who we love and who we don’t or can’t or shouldn’t love.
Loving the whole thing is what this is about. What does that mean? We can find a clue in the Sufi expression “love, lover and beloved.” True lovers love everything; everything is their beloved. And in time, lovers actually merge with love itself, and begin resonating with love’s field, love’s web. Then love becomes not just a human invention, or merely a moral or spiritual obligation, but an essential quality of all creation, of the Green Earth, into which we can sink and surrender with abandon, because we are grateful, participating members of the whole thing.
Alliance is another big one, very worthy of our study. We’re talking here about making life-affirming alliances within our own human community, certainly, but also entering into community, and communion, with Nature’s non-human material and spiritual beings too. These partnerships might last a few hours, or a season, or a lifetime, but in any case, our willingness and ability to form alliances on behalf of the Green World must take root deep within us. (And, by the way, this kind of alliance is impossible if we start out believing that humans are superior to any other lifeforms. We are unique, for sure, and exceptionally gifted in some important ways, but feeling ourselves to be superior is never going to get us anywhere in this work.)
So. Love. Our hearts. Alliance. We need to remake our love, remake our hearts, enter and nestle into the heart’s green love-field; and then pursue alliances with both human and non-human beings, by offering our humility as well as our greatness. Then we may be able to do something on behalf of the whole thing—to make it a little more coherent and interconnected, to make it more merciful and more renewing, in ways that honor every human, every plant and creature, every forest and valley and river. Our hearts have this capacity, and they are yearning to exercise it. Let’s set our green hearts free!
[This theme is one of several that I explore in much greater detail in the book I’ve been writing. Its working title is: Nature Magic for Everyone: Ways to Become Wiser, Happier and More Useful to the Sacred Land. See my last post for a description of this book.]