We are here today to pay our respects and mourn our Mother.
She was a vibrant, adaptive, creative and beautiful Being, Our Mother, the Earth. We gather here today to reflect on all she has given us over the eons. We gather to feel and express our heartfelt gratitude for her generous gifts. We all have our own favorite memories—those peaceful and inspiring moments when our Mother Earth held us in her majestic Presence and taught us lessons we could never learn from a book or a lecture or a conversation. She spoke to the innermost parts of our Being, taught us how to listen, to be still, to trust the silence and the flow of life. She spoke to us through the song of the wind through aspen leaves and the honking of autumn geese flying in perfect formation. She comforted us with blue skies over mountain peaks and allowed us the opportunity to shed our ego, even if for just a moment, during a raging thunderstorm. When we were willing to let her teach, we learned about impermanence, death, rebirth, adaptation, symbiosis and the connected web of all life. When we spent time with her, Mother Earth quelled our anxieties that stemmed from age-old human conditions, as well as anxieties we brought upon ourselves in this modern technological age. Whether on a mountain peak in the Rockies or just watching a line of black ants march across an inner-city sidewalk, Mother always had something to teach, for those willing to listen. She was generous like that. Even when her children were abusing her, she still had more to give. We will never find another Planet like Her—she gave us everything we have, and all that we are. She was one-of-a-kind.
But in addition to gratitude, we also gather today to feel and express our grief in all of its stages, honoring each person in their place on their grieving journey: the initial shock we felt when we realized the gravity of Mother Earth’s sickness. The ongoing period of denial that is so hard to move through and beyond. The anger and rage- the outpouring of bottled up emotion at the wrongs that have been committed against such a generous and gorgeous Planet. We shout and rage and chant for you our dear Mother Earth. In our grief, we sought to bargain with reality: maybe if we took proper political avenues we could convince those in power to tap into their moral compass. Perhaps if we convinced all of our friends and family to reduce, reuse, and recycle more, then we could beat back the destructive monster of climate change. Bike to work or take the bus! Meatless Mondays! Grow your own vegetables! Surely we could bring our Mother back from the brink of destruction if we just did our little part. Then the depression set in. The doctor said we only have twelve more years to turn this around, and that was an optimistic estimate. Even if we somehow elected all the “right” politicians this next few times around, it would still have been too late. There would still be decades of red tape, policy battles, and infrastructure rollouts to wait for. Even if our politicians had suddenly started telling the truth about climate change and developed a moral backbone, our government’s systems of process of procedures would have moved too slowly in this broken two party system controlled by corporate money. The depression lingered, and we watched our Mother Earth die, feeling alone and helpless.
If only we had been willing to feel all these emotions and move to a place of acceptance. Not acceptance as in condoning the atrocities that ruined our ozone layer and warmed our oceans. But an acceptance of reality— seeing where we are and letting the gravity of this truth sink in. Accepting that we are up Shit Creek, but then noticing we in fact do have a paddle.
If only we had grabbed that paddle of non-violent, disruptive civil disobedience – the paddle of peaceful yet persistent rebellion, we could have saved our Mother, dear Planet Earth. If only we had left the comfort of our daily routine to fight for Her life, and contingently, for our own lives.
Because this Eulogy has a surprise ending. We are not just grieving today for our Mother the Earth, but for all of Her children. She is survived by none of her human offspring. We have all died out, whether by disease, drought, or displacement that led to mass chaos and war over territory, fresh water, and food.
If only we had trusted in cooperation over competition, in the spiritual over the material, in generosity over greed, in hope and action over a resigned cynicism! Then we could have saved ourselves and our Mother Earth. If only! If only…..
(But there is something we can all do, now. https://rebellion.earth)
I'm a Spiritual Director, Enneagram Educator, and Liberationist-Buddhist-Universalist-Mystic-12 step-Queer-Christian. Playing with questions, answers, and surrender.