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Everyone is a Steward of the Planet

July 28, 2007

As a mom, meduim, shaman and ardent enviromenalist, I have been thinking of how to teach my kids about my beliefs without hitting them over the head with it. How do I impart my love for nature, it’s relationship to our souls, and it’s basis in spiritualism? How do I show them that the earth holds us in an embrace that allows us to soar as spirits as we live here on it’s surface. All that beauty and stillness that reflects who we are inside needs protecting. Are we are able to take little actions that help restore balance, even if it seems unimportant or even silly?

A few weeks ago my family and I drove upstate from NYC to visit friends for the weekend. It was a beautiful day and the kids were excited to be going to the country. As we drove, I started to notice wtih dismay a lot of road kill. I had never seen so many dead animals along the side of the road. Beavers, racoons, a possum, various woodchucks.

We saw four dead deer, a site I had never seen before. Something inside me was very disturbed by that. There is something magical about deer for me. Especially being a city dweller. Deer appear for a moment along the side of the road. If you are lucky, you see them, and then they are gone. Such regal, gentle creatures. To see them along the side of the road, some brutally mangled, was undignified and violent. Even the kids grew very somber as we saw the last one.

We spend a nice two days drinking in the outdoors. As we were leaving on the back country road, we pulled onto a busier main road to get to the NY State Thruway. We hadn’t goen very far when I saw something in the road. As I came up to it, and was about to run it over, I saw that it was a turtle crossing the road. I drove over it without hitting it, but just barely. Everyone in the car had the same thought, “Stop the car Mommy, we’ve got to save that turtle!” I turned around and drove back. My husband Tom, who is usually maddenly slow, jumped out of the car and shepherded the turtle across the road, completely stopping traffic. Interestingly enough, the cars that stopped waited until they saw the turtle reach safety, and then they moved on. Tom waited, afraid that having saved the turtle, it might head back onto the road (he had experience with this). It dissapeared into the tall grass and my kids and I all breathed a sign of relief. He’d made it! Tom got back in the car jubilant, as the kids and I cheered. I only hoped we had actually pointed it in the right direction!

It was amazing that such a small act made us feel so good. It’s as if we righted the wrong of all the dead animals we had seen the day before. The sense of helplessness we had felt seemed to vanish. Instead of continuing on, we all had connected with something inside us that said “act now.” Our intuition had reached through and we all heard it together. That was the lesson right there, just waiting for us on the highway.

Spiritualism is intertwined with nature in that it’s the simple order of things. In societies where spiritualism is revered, nature ceremonies and a shamanistic viewpoint form the consciousness of community. Most ritual takes place out side and requires a connection with the earth, with a rock, with water. It involves the elements, the sun, the moon, the weather. In nature based societies spirit is imbued in all things. Spirit is as real as everything else that our consciousness holds. The ancestors walk with us, spirit helpers walk with us. And our relationship to the earth is vital. The earth holds the dreamtime, the underworld, the unconscious. If we succeed in destroying it, we destroy all that too.

Lessons in stewardship find us if we are listening. And if we are willing to act, even if it seems small, we can find a connection to spirit in those moments. We can find a connection to our hearts and our souls that can sustain us and help us to take bigger actions, and before we know it, we are changing our selves and we are changing the planet. It all starts with holding it in our hearts to ask the question – How can we take care of our planet? The spirits around are waiting to hear us ask. And we will be shown the way.

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