I came of age in the era of Earth Day. I remember the first year it was acknowledged in my school, in the 80’s, when we were each given a tiny tree to take home and plant. It was a little ritual that stayed with me as an image of what and how I can do something for the Earth I live on. As I was thinking about this post and which of the options to tackle, I recalled Dr. Kiehl’s story about the mockingbird singing atop a telephone pole in the morning. He called that act the bird’s “morning ritual” (Exploring Our Being in the World, para1) and that resonated with me. To sing, for a reason, even if the reason is simply to hear it, to plant a tree, for a reason, even if the reason is simply to touch the earth, are rituals because of the attitude of attention we bring. I am partial to ritual in my own life, some formal and others not. Fifteen years ago, I started writing Haiku. After time passed, I started to use it as a meditative practice. I observe and then write what wants said without judgement. Writing this long in that style, now when I sit down to do it I automatically think in the correct number of syllables (ha!). I don’t try to make it good, just real. How is this current world and I interacting today? What do I see and how is it the same as me? I find I’m always filled with gratitude after this practice.
Kiehl, J. T. (2016). Facing climate change: An integrated path to the future. Columbia University Press.