Nature’s Way (Earth Day 2020)

what grows here collage s

“Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”—Cree Proverb

I attended the first Earth Day celebration in Washington DC in 1970.  I was 18 years old, full of hope and energy.  It seemed to me then that humans were listening to the Earth’s warnings.  We would clean up the air, the water, the soil, we would consume less, learn to live both sustainably and without the psychic and financial gaps of artificial hierarchy.

Fifty years later, and we lose more species every year.  The ice caps are melting, the violent weather increasing, the extremes of everything becoming the norm.  Seasons are disappearing.  Many of the world’s peoples have no place to call home.

All those things we “need”, all those conveniences we can’t live without, all those changes we are too busy or discouraged to fight for…

new characters but
the same stories—remembered
in the light of now

earth mandala comp

The NaPoWriMo Day 22 prompt is to take a proverb from a culture not your own and use it to inspire your writing.  Many cultures have proverbs that counsel us to be good caretakers of the earth, but the Cree words seemed especially appropriate.

I’ve done posts and earth-inspired art many times over the years, and the art here is taken from some of them.


imagine close up s


23 thoughts on “Nature’s Way (Earth Day 2020)

  1. The 60s gave me hope and 1970 the glow was carrying over. You were hoping for intrinsic change that would be manifested externally through a protected planet. The kernels of goodness shriveled. Now our mother is going to enforce external compliance or simply shrug us off. Your first collage is so pretty and powerful, the asymmetrical shape and the cornucopia from the deer’s head.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jade. For awhile it seemed we were going in the right direction…it’s hard to believe that conservative Republicans were once environmentalists too. But the fault rests with all of us. (K)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely and timely, Kerfe. Your art is beautiful and powerful. I like the haiku, and I’m not sure how you intended it, but I see it as memories, hopes, and dreams that are passed along through generations.

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  3. Yup. I turned 18 in 1971. We are of the same era. And didn’t we think we were going to change the world? Yet I think we did, often in significant ways. Planted seeds that we had no idea would take decades to germinate. Agreed, we cannot be silent. We must each and all consider, like never before, what we want this world to look like. We really do collectively create it, moment to moment. Perhaps after this ‘long collective rest’ we will begin steering the ship toward a more sustainable future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s true that we changed thinking and actions in many ways. Seeds as you say. But the resistance by those entrenched in money and power is deep, and they have been moving things backwards for awhile now. We need to push back, collectively.

      Liked by 1 person

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