I saw this little gem on Facebook the other day and it was one of those things that made me just stop for a moment, take a deep thankful breath and smile. Yes. I believe in miracles and I believe that being alive on this planet in this moment is one of them.
I believe it is a miracle that we live on a planet that is currently spinning out in the dark vastness of the universe while we sip coffee, go for our daily run or chat with friends over lunch. We live on a planet with such miraculous systems in place that we don’t ever have to think about how everything works and yet it works. We don’t have to even think for a moment about our planet’s place in the Universe for it to function, provide and continuously sustain our lives. I believe it is a miracle that human beings get born at all when I think about all the miraculous pieces that have to come together to create a life, and we live in such miraculous bodies we don’t need to think about breathing in order for it to be done. Stew on that for a moment!
Every living creature eats something that is alive in order to live, whether it is microscopic bacteria, a plant or an animal. Each living being is going about its life to fulfill a greater purpose, which is in part continuing life on this planet but we are rarely conscious of it and if we are, we tend to get ahead of ourselves and think we individually know what is best for the planet and its systems. Just existing is enough. Read that again, just existing is enough. We can’t know our ultimate purpose, or the ultimate purpose of the planet, but just being here, right here right now, we are fulfilling it, effortlessly.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the tiny details of our life that we really don’t think about the larger picture and our place within it. Even if you meditate regularly or devote time and energy to connecting with the forces of nature it is hard to really focus in on and remember that we are part of a much larger cycle and environment. Mother Earth is sentient and you can take that literally, or you can take it to mean that the earth is populated by sentient beings all living their lives in order to survive and thrive and therefore we live in a web of life where everyone and all of our lives weave together to support life on this planet and it works. We are never alone and though it is important to be conscious of our actions there are so many other levels going on beyond our comprehension and so many other beings that help support us that it is OK not to be able to do it all.
When I start to focus in on these things, I come to the realization that what I do in my life matters, but it is not the “be all, end all”. I don’t have to do things perfectly or even understand all the mysteries of our world because I am part of a system, I don’t control it. This means I get to revel in the wonderful mystery of it all because I am not in charge. The earth went on before I was here and it will continue to go on doing its thing long after I am gone from this plane of existence. There is something extremely comforting in the truth that I am basically insignificant in the larger picture, yet I am very significant to those close to me, those who I spend my time with and with whom I share my life. And so that is why I tend to focus on things close to home, areas where I can really make a difference and to whom I will be remembered when I am gone.
Earth Day is typically celebrated in ways that remind us to be good stewards of the planet we live on. To remember we are part of this great web of life. It reminds us how precious this cosmic rock is that we call home and that we should care enough to stop and think about how our actions affect it over the long haul. We should absolutely do this. It is important and I can get on board with any reason to spend time in nature, hugging a tree or planting a garden. For me it is also vitally important to say a prayer of thanks to this planet that is constantly providing for me and never take for granted that this happens everyday no matter what I do, whether I am taking the day to relax, or hard at work, whether I am protesting injustice or living my life the best way I know how. I am humbled by the fact that it is not just for humans that this planet exists. Although we often erroneously think we know what is best for it, it is unlikely that we actually do. It is for all of us that live here and in turn we are definitely here to give something back to our planet, our home, even if we don’t know exactly what it is. Even if it is just to feed her with our bodies once they come to an end. Just existing is enough.