Restoring Our World

Restoring Our World June 19, 2020

photo by Ron DeKett

One Green Field

One green field
creates space for sky
among subdivisions and convenience stores
along Highway 14.

One green field
shoulders sloping sweetly
under morning sun—
breathing space for blackbirds.

One green field
lies dreaming
of swallowtails and legumes
behind a FOR SALE sign.

Soon enough
men will stake her—
spread-eagled,
asphalt smothered,
paralyzed,
she can never
again grow space for our hearts—
one green field.

Restoring Our World

While our attention has been claimed by righteous demands for justice and by efforts to survive a pandemic, the Trump administration has been trashing the safeguards that protect air, water, and wildlife, and has eased the way for the fossil fuel industry to keep on raping the planet while contributing significantly to global warming.

Summer Solstice is a time when seeds planted in the spring begin to flower. But what Trump is seeding now cannot be allowed to stand, nor can what we will reap in the future from the loss of air, water, and wildlife safeguards.

Here are just a few of Trump’s travesties among the 98 as of May 6 listed by The New York Times:

  • Weakened regulations on the cost-benefit analysis of removing mercury and other toxic metals from oil and coal-fired plant emissions, undermining the rules. Mercury causes brain damage in children and fetuses.
  • Rolled back fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks which means more tailpipe emissions, the United States’ biggest contributor to greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
  • Trashed a rule that kept coal mining companies from dumping mining debris in local streams and contaminating drinking water.
  • Eliminated an Obama era rule requiring permits to use potentially harmful chemicals near many streams and wetlands. The rule was designed to protect drinking water for roughly one-third of the U.S.
  • Slapped a price tag on endangered species protection when deciding whether habitats can be despoiled, clearing a path for oil, mining, and gas interests. It’s now easier to remove species from the endangered list. The new rules weaken protections for those on the threatened list.

In the midst of all this, hope has many faces—hope is kneeling demonstrators and raised fists; it is town clerks mailing ballots and activists demanding a just and sustainable world; it is health care workers caring for those felled by a terrible disease and journalists braving tear gas and rubber bullets to report what is happening in the streets; it is educators scrambling to adapt to new needs and decimated budgets and friends and neighbors wearing masks in grocery stores; it is covens and churches meeting online, and it is all of us—caring.

In the U.S., caring citizens will trek to the polls or mail in ballots this summer for primaries and this November for a general election to vote for leaders on every level who will restore efforts to protect our planet.

Here’s where to find voting help: Visit www.411.org. At 411.org, which is operated by the League of Women Voters, you can check your voter registration status, register to vote, learn what will be on your ballot, find your polling place, and more. The United States government’s official site for voting information is https://www.usa.gov/voting. You will find comprehensive links and resources to answer questions you may have about voting including a link to your state’s election office’s website, how to request an absentee ballot, how the presidential election process works, and information on the laws that protect your right to vote.

Those of you who follow Nature’s Sacred Journey, realize Mother Earth is precious and it’s imperative that we act. There is much action we can take as individuals and in groups, such as marching, praying, working for candidates and environmental organizations. To vote is simple and direct. Recently, I heard an environmental activist decry analytics showing that environmentalists don’t vote. Mainly because they think it doesn’t matter who’s elected. We know now that it does matter very much. May that stark reality compel an even more enormous outpouring of effort by those advocating for justice, for civil rights, for education, for immigration reform, for health of living creatures and the planet. This election may be the most important U.S. election in history.

Gaia, Mother of us all, gathers her bloody skirts and wades into the fray tossing lightning bolts and stirring storms. She sees that human power mongers enable each other, fouling their own nest. She sees that the rights of all to live free are trampled by uncaring power structures. She mourns the failing emerald dragonfly and the yellow-shouldered blackbird. Her oceans, her very blood, are burning, and her air, her very breath, is soured by plumes of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury.

Summer Solstice is a time to bloom. The blooms we need to nurture are those of change—change to bring racial justice to our world, change to respect the Mother and our interdependent web of existence, and change that will bring a new empathy for all life on Earth. Let us walk together out of these dark times into the light.

Blessed be.

Nan Lundeen

About Nan Lundeen
Nan Lundeen is the author of Gaia’s Cry, Black Dirt Days: Poems as Memoir, The Pantyhose Declarations and Moo of Writing. Visit her at nanlundeen.com. You can read more about the author here.
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