I am embarking on two important changes in my life. One is a cross-country move, and the other is my launch of a website that expresses my deepest values. I created www.TheEarthConnection.org to serve my sense of the Sacred.
These two major life changes are connected for me at the spiritual level. They both represent expressions of the same love—a love for the earth.
First, the decision to leave New Mexico and return to Virginia.
My husband Andy and I live in Albuquerque. It has been two years since his work and our son’s education, the two things that brought us here, have been completed. But we are still here. We have a nice life in Albuquerque. Our house is full of bright New Mexico sunshine. And I am looking out our large picture window right now at the Sandia Mountains, with only a delicate Japanese maple, pinyon pines, and birds at the feeder to obscure any of the mountain view.
We have wonderful neighbors, and we have made good friends here. Andy and I are part of a movie group. And I am a member of two very engaging groups of women—one that delves into dreams, the other into literary classics. We are well aware that there is a lot we will miss about our Albuquerque lives.
But there is something even deeper calling us. It is Supin Lick Ridge, in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, where we lived in an A-frame house, a tree house of sorts, many visitors said. The house is perched on the side of a mountain ridge, in the middle of a forest. And it is here that Andy, our son, and I lived for the decade before we moved to Albuquerque. We loved the place so much that when we made our westward move, we didn’t sell our house. Although we had no idea what the future held, we couldn’t part with the place.
Then last September, Andy and I returned to our Virginia home to clean up after some swinish tenants. The place was in bad shape--damaged, overgrown, with trash of many sorts strewn over the land. But in what might have been a dispiriting setting, we were ecstatic!
We feasted on the view from giant windows of the next green ridge and the valley in between. We breathed in the forest’s heavenly autumn fragrance that I remembered so happily—the scent of sun on dried leaves. And I enjoyed an ambiance better than that of any restaurant as I ate my simple lunches on an outdoor bench. At night, the starlit skies drew us outside again to look up in joy and wonder.
With our workmen, we scrubbed, swept, painted, repaired, renovated, and gathered trash every day for a week. By the time we left, our mountain home was lovely once again.
It is that place, the call of the earth to my spirit and to Andy’s, that is urging us to leave our full life in Albuquerque. And it is the nourishment and inspiration I find in that place that I want to offer to whoever will take it by visiting www.TheEarthConnection.org
I have long known that the deep nourishment I derive from my contact with the natural world is essential to my well-being. And I believe that all of us humans can be nourished deeply by contact with nature--if we are open to it. Nature is—well, our true nature. We need to know that we are inseparable from it, that damage to the planet and its species hurts us too.
When we take in the sustenance that Mother Nature so abundantly offers us, we are strengthened. And we need to do things that nourish our spirit, that awaken our wonder and delight, and that remind us of our birthright--a loving, harmonious connection with our planet. If we can let this connection feed us deeply, we can gain the strength to deal with the environmental crisis that will be with us for the rest of our lives.
The crisis is huge! After all, humanity is not even headed in the right direction yet! Our carbon emissions are still increasing, even though we know that survival depends on halting—and significantly reversing—these emissions. But if we are nourished by our earth connection, we can be strong enough to put our shoulder to the wheel in these difficult times.
So I am returning to Virginia to experience that nourishment I need every day, to be filled by my surroundings--the green mountain vista, the storms that roll through the valley, the sounds of a whippoorwill on a summer night, the soft earth under my feet on forest trails. What a balm to my spirit when all around me the wonders of nature are far more evident than humanity’s tinkerings.
And as I go off to Virginia to nourish my soul, I will be better able to create a nurturing space for visitors to www.TheEarthConnection.org As we let nature heal and nourish us, we can return the favor. Our planet needs our healing efforts!
So, with Op Ed News's encouragement, I invite you to join me at www.TheEarthConnection.org, a place to feed our spirits by connecting with our love for the earth.