This week's newspaper column: (Read it in the Hattiesburg American.)
It’s easy to take you for granted, but on this special occasion, here are a few words to express gratitude for all you are and all you do.
Where to start? How about at the beginning? Before we were ever alive, you were there, healthy and vital. Born out of the heavens, your beauty is beyond compare. We know a little bit about your past, but mostly, we can only imagine all that happened to shape you before we came along.
Without you, dear Mother Earth, life as we know it would be impossible. Although we sometimes seem oblivious to the obvious, we have you to thank for our very existence. We are grateful that you made a place for us in your world. Our lives began with you.
You were and still are the very definition of natural beauty. Mother Earth, you are complex and multifaceted, and sometimes difficult to understand, but one thing we do understand is that we would be nothing if not for you.
You give us a nurturing home. You provide us, Mother Earth, with the environment we need to grow and thrive. You protect us from the harsh “out there,” so much so that we seldom give it a second thought.
Though we may sleep, you are always there, every hour of every day and night anticipating our every need before we even ask. You give us comfort and all the sustenance we need to survive. Sometimes you make us work for it, but that just teaches us valuable lessons that we, in turn, can pass on to our children.
You are warm, and with your warmth you freely give us exactly what we need to keep on living. And even though you sometimes seem cold, we know that - deep down - your warmth is constant and will reveal itself to us when the time is right.
You’ve been through a lot, Mother Earth – good times and bad. Left to your own devices, you manage quite well. Sometimes though – through callousness or carelessness – we’ve done things that hurt you, and for that we are truly sorry.
Some of the scars we can see, but some are beyond our comprehension. Still, Mother Earth, you have aged so very gracefully. Although you have the amazing capacity to heal yourself, that doesn’t excuse thoughtless behavior on our part.
So dearest Mother Earth, don’t think we don’t care. I know it’s hard sometimes for you to see how much we love you; we often get busy with the comings and goings of our lives and forget to show our appreciation.
So from us to you, from the bottom of our hearts, we love you, Mother Earth.