We Are Warriors for Mother Earth

We Are Warriors for Mother Earth September 22, 2020

Seeking Balance

This time of year
day and night
balanced on the sunbeam
of our lives
cool waters unsullied
by toxins rampaging under this madness;

night and day
balanced on the sunbeam
of our lives
remembering fresh air
undefiled by methane mushrooming under this madness;

this time of year
day and night
balanced, remembering
fire renewing,
not marching like a juggernaut across towns, mountains, valleys;

fertile earth
humming day and night,
seeded, sprouting, yielding, growing, harvesting,

not withering under this madness.

Seeking balance.

visit poet Nan Lundeen at www.nanlundeen.com

During the horrendous wildfires and suffering in the northwestern U.S., it feels like the day Daddy lay dying of lung cancer. I turned the oxygen valve up against the sinking feeling in my stomach, although I knew it was futile. And his chest stilled. Except for my sense of his love that lives to this day, 59 years later, Daddy is gone.

A news report that I recently read linked hotter weather and drier conditions to worsening wildfires. Humans have disregarded Gaia’s delicate balance that has allowed life to flourish in an interdependent web of existence. The reporter mentioned that much remains to be done to confront the climate crisis, but asked, “Or is it already too late?”

Would we be uselessly cranking the oxygen valve in death’s face?

This is no time for despair. It is time to be warriors for Mother Earth.

We set ourselves up for catastrophe by ignoring the wisdom of Native Americans who for centuries used fire wisely to renew land. We planned poorly, allowing the building of homes in areas that needed to stay wild, all the while fanning the flames by burning fossil fuels that brought global warming and its relentless droughts and high winds.

I believe that the fate of Earth as a viable planet for humans and millions of other species hinges on the Nov. 3 U.S. election. The U.S. must lead the world in fighting climate change. After all, we have caused a great deal of it.

Please vote for local, state, and federal candidates who respect our environment, not for ones who say they do and then stand by twiddling their thumbs while Donald Trump unleashes more toxins upon the planet.

  • Work for those candidates.
  • Double and triple efforts for environmental organizations.

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.

It’s time now to battle life-denying, destructive forces on behalf of our children, our sisters and brothers, our first responders, and our forest creatures whose smoke-drenched lungs cry out in anguish.

Or is it already too late?

For now, where I live in southwestern Michigan, a walk in the woods to celebrate Fall Equinox is still possible. Is there anything as beautiful as woods as they tumble into autumn?

At a recent nature center walk, my husband and I found orange fungi clinging to a fallen log; false sunflower blooming in defiance as its leaves drooped, browned by a dry summer and the turning of the wheel; a scarlet leaf curling as if to sleep among its green neighbors; and breezes stirring the treetops.

How the soul hungers for beauty.

It’s about balance, Fall Equinox, and yet we teeter here where hundreds of thousands are dying of a lung-eating disease, where courage is required to step outside your door or hug a grandchild, where Mother Nature rampages, stamping her feet in frustration engendered by foolish humans who warm her waters and fan her wildfires.

And then, there’s politics: the lies, the passivity in the face of overwhelming danger. It will be a terrific task to roll back the environmental safeguards that the Trump administration stomped into the dirt. But first, we need to elect politicians who will tackle climate change despite the urgency of the pandemic, social justice, health care, and education issues. We need to address all of those. Let’s elect officials we trust to do that.

I had the privilege of being on a Zoom call a few weeks ago with Democratic U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. She was speaking with members of Citizens Climate Lobby, https://citizensclimatelobby.org/ a grassroots environmental organization that I’m proud to be a member of.

As inspiring as Stabenow’s work for a healthy environment for us all is, the most inspiring part of that conversation came near the end when she was encouraging us to continue fighting for national policies to confront our climate crisis.

Don’t you dare give up,” Stabenow said. “Don’t you dare give up!”

Blessed be.

Nan Lundeen

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

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