Once upon a time, the earth was a part of everything on it. Connection with the earth was acknowledged in song & dance, in ceremony & creed. The earth was known as The Great Mother From Whom All Things Flow Forth. Before building homes or starting new businesses, humans would have intense rituals embracing their need to have the protection & support of Mother Earth- for without her blessing, nothing would flourish.
Mother Earth had many songs in these times. There were songs for harvesting. Songs for planting. Songs for sadness & grief. Songs for love. Songs of patience & songs of courting. There were songs for birth & songs of death. And Mother Earth was included in all of these songs. There was always weeping & laughter in the land, but everyone knew they were held by Mother Earth and so, whether stupefied with sadness or howling with joy, they each found comfort in her strong embrace.
Young men, Old women, new babies, and everyone in between honored Mother Earth. It wasn’t anyone’s job to speak for her, to mention her or to honor her; Each and every member of the land, from birth until death, spoke with adoration and humility in her heart about The Great Mother From Whom All Things Flow Forth. For it was truly apparent that everything came from her hand and went back to her body. This was The Great Cycle and everyone knew themselves as inextricably a part of it.
There were the traders, the mothers, the wisdom carriers, the artisans, the troubadours, the homeless, the farmers, and many more facets of the society which played roles in its function and all of these thanked & honored Mother Earth. Not one, except maybe the farmers & the wisdom carriers, had a greater or more intimate esteem for Mother Earth, for each of them, from the day they were born until the day they died, drank from her streams, ate the bounty from her lap, felt her wind in their face, and climbed all over her body dancing, limping, crawling, singing, weeping, lauding. Each of them knew themselves inextricably a part of her Presence. And this is the way it always was.
This was the way it always was, until it was slowly this way no more. It’s hard to say when the shift happened, when the earth stopped being a part of everything on it. The deer and wind, streams and tree frogs, lightening and spiders certainly remained with the earth in it, but something started to happen to the minds of the humans. Slowly, over time & person by person to family by family to tribe by tribe, the humans started to count the things of the earth, which before they had seen as a gift to them, as their right. And they forgot to give thanks & honor Mother Earth. Slowly the men, because they were physically stronger & in fear of the women’s power & sexuality (which are often so closely intertwined), started to treat their wives & daughters, mothers & grandmothers as if it was their right to lord over them, as if the women were there to serve them. And they enforced this through violence, violation & punishment.
Slowly, slowly people started to forget that the earth was a part of them; that they were a part of the earth and that they were all equals. Tribes started to see themselves as inherently different; as if from a different place, as if different species. People no longer saw themselves as siblings of one human family, no matter the color of their skin. Instead, certain skin colors were prized over others & the dominating group would make the “others” subservient to them through laws, violation, violence and punishment. Slowly, slowly as the human mind forgot what the human body & heart had always known, humans no longer thought of one another as kin, but as enemies conquesting for resources.
What was once a gift to give thanks to Mother Earth for, like precious stones & jewels from the earth or conch shells, feathers, fine bone & wood pieces, became objects of a hoarding contest. Whoever can take the most of these things, becomes the most powerful and therefore has the ability to control the others. Slowly, slowly people forgot that it wasn’t always this way – the faint murmurings of the heart that not only was another way possible, but it was the way things used to be: a life of connection, abundance, togetherness, sharing & caring, gratitude and respect for one another & Mother Earth- this whisper of heart & body became nearly unbelievable. This murmur became something the dominating controllers scoffed at.
And so, though children born from the heart of the earth & from the stars came with these ancient secrets on their lips, the dominating controllers silenced & shamed them and kept telling the story of greed, one-upmanship, exploitation, and competition. They controlled the media sources where everyone got their information & told stories of fear & of war. Technology & machines took the place of human contact and while they sped up The Progress, thousands of species became extinct, waters & air became dangerously polluted, soil was poisoned & degraded, food started to be a specialized lab experiment and was no longer the thing of every backyard & wars over Mother Earth’s resources became commonplace. Children’s voices were not heard & a child was very fortunate if they were able to remember some of the whispers about being a Child of The Great Mother From Whom All Things Flow Forth. At night, masses of humans would feel great tremors of sadness from within & so alcohol, cigarettes, heroin, meth, abuse & violence were the strong distractors away from their feelings of sadness, which were really cries of remembrance from their heart, from their bones, which remembered that they were a part of Mother Earth.
For Mother Earth never stopped crying out to all that was a part of her, to everything that was on her, eating from her body & drinking from her veins the streams. She spoke through plants, through dreams, through children & to the human’s minds in the evenings as another sun set, as this was a time when the people, finished with their labor of the day, were particularly vulnerable for remembering as the veil was thin between the imagination & the heart.
And The Great Mother From Whom All Things Flow Forth has gotten through to many of her children, which is how I am writing this story at all. She has whispered to me through my blood & bones which are fueled by her body, by her vegetables & animal flesh, through her sporiforous mushrooms & her seaweed, and her water and berries– through all of these things which fuel my body, her body is able to speak to me through my cells. She reminds me that this is the way forward, in remembering what once was and still is, yet has been forgotten – in remembering this connection with our Mother Earth so much that one day I remember it into existing again.