a song of thanksgiving
to Sky Woman
earth’s parched body.
soaks in minerals
No deluges this time
just sheets of falling
may help the Earth
even as she calms
my beating heart
scented and renewed.
In Indigenous story (Robin Wall Kimmerer) Sky Woman fell into a great void when the branch she held – the Tree of Life – cracked. But from that fall the Earth was born…
After the Birthing, Sky Woman returned to the sky but her Presence is palpable when nourishing rain blesses the earth, renewing her, allowing us all to begin again.
This mythological story belongs to Northern Indigenous peoples and it more plausible to me than the current western mythological story that posits that at ‘first there was nothing and then there was everything’ (Richard Powers). The difference between the two is that in Sky Woman’s story Earth renews herself again and again while in the Big Bang theory the earth and universe will eventually disintegrate through entropy.
Sky Woman’s myth describes the circular nature of life, Earth’s Renewal is its central truth. It does not speak to whether or not humans will survive our continued destruction of this beautiful blue green planet.
The western story is linear, and most damaging, is considered by most to be scientific truth. I think this latter tale is more about human projection than the reality of life on earth. “Humans are born in the middle of things, live in the middle of things and die in the middle of things. This is not a good story”. (Powers). We are born, we live, we die – this linear story is real and true for us but is probably not true for the earth or the universe as a whole.
We live on a planet that is demonstrating to us every single day that cycles define nature’s ongoing life processes. Think of the seasons like the one we are approaching – fall, with its astonishing colors. Leaves falling to earth, becoming food for new life in a few months time. As a naturalist who spends so much time in the forest, I am continually awed by ‘dead’ tree stumps that demonstrate the ongoing nature of life as each births a multitude of tree seedlings and groundcovers. Death births life, and death is simply part of the whole ongoing story. I think of Carol Christ whose writings demonstrate repeatedly the cyclic nature of life, honoring both patterns and proteins (DNA) in the process of living and dying.
The words “as above so below” come to mind. The earth and the universe may be dancing the same dance of creation, re-creation.
This summer has been too dry. The wild wind driven thunderstorms have not brought us relief from drought, although the deluges do moisten the earth for a brief time before wind disperses the raindrops. At least we have had some kind of regular rain for which I am grateful. The leaves of deciduous trees are dropping prematurely and some maples have already caught fire. Now, in late August we are getting some good soaking rains as the season begins to change.
My gratitude knows no bounds.