Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tierra de Madre

Earth day was last week. I meant to post sooner, but I have just been too busy with work and dealing with my shortened sleep schedule. It really hit me yesterday that my neighbors 3am-4am romp session the night before made my day very long. The last month living below them has contributed to a deep state of exhaustion that I haven't felt since I wrote my dissertation last year. I did get some rejuvenating sleep last night and am feeling much better today. YAY! 

That said, I have also been dragging my feet with blogging about what 'Earth Day' has meant to me this year. It seems like in years past, it has been about respecting the precious resources, land and air that Mother Earth allows us to use.
While I am thankful for the planet's tangible offerings that allow us to live the way we do, I haven't been able to stop thinking about what it means to be alive on the planet earth. The Planet is amazing, and even more amazing to me is what it means to feel alive and recognizing that feeling when it hits you. (I know I'm kind of out there right now.. I do that often)

I also started to wonder about experiencing what it means to be alive not only on our planet, but also in the universe. It all started when I saw this link on yahoo. The link reported on an earth-like planet that has been studied in a faraway universe. This planet orbits around a large star. It is 2 times the size of earth and has a rocky surface mostly covered by water. Like Earth, it has similar traits that are ideal for life: water, land, atmosphere, and a mild temperature range. We don't have the technology to detect whether or not life exists on this planet as of yet, but maybe in the future we will. I have seen these headlines before, but this time I couldn't stop thinking about what this meant. My first thought was, "My God the Mormons must be stoked!". I used to date Mormon and at the young age of 17 he told me that he needed to lead a righteous life so he and his future wife could be the God and Goddess of their own earth-like planet. Deep thoughts for a 17 year old brain. I attribute my skepticism for any one religion to my relationship with him. 

I also honestly believe that our human brains are not capable of thinking about these extremely unknown topics for too long without serious conditioning or overheating, so I will get back to my point. My point is that Earth Day for me has been about how fortunate I have felt to be a part of such a large ecosystem, allowing me to live and feel some of the wonderful sensations and emotions that make us human. I don't think I'm articulating my feelings very well, so I will use pictures to explain my point.

Picture #1. Babies. Holding Baby Will for the first time. I haven't had my own baby yet, but holding a tiny human that just exited a human body just seems like the greatest miracle of all. I wish I had the pic of me holding Christian for the first time. I had the same look of wonder and amazement. He was such a cutie too!
Picture #2. Adrenaline. Or purposefully jumping out of a plane. Hands down the most physically intense sensory experience I have ever had. So intense that if I did it by myself, I'm not sure I could concentrate enough to pull the cord! Hence my two tandem jumps. Would do it again right now if I had the cash flow!
Picture #3.  Campfires. Usually if I'm sitting around a campfire, I'm removed from material life. Don't get me wrong, I love my MacBook and my Ipod, but there is something humbling about being disconnected from civilization and sharing the environment with animals, trees, moving water, mountains and bugs. 
Picture #4. Family and Friends. What would life be without loved ones? I love my 'me time', but family and friends bring happiness into my life. This picture speaks for itself. I had surprised one of my best friends Jessica by flying out to the East Coast to surprise her for her Wedding shower and Bachelorette party. I think it was the best surprise I have been a part of yet. Looking forward to many more of these moments.
Picture #5. Danger. Jumping into the Amazon River with Piranhas is fun. The locals didn't seem to be worried about the scary fish, so Heather and I decided to do what the locals did. Turns out, the Amazon River is a great way to cool off instantly. No bites either!
I can look at these pics over and over and feel the same sensation I had when that moment actually happened. When I'm not sure about the universe, or my current work situation, or any uncontrollable circumstances, I can find comfort in the fact that these experiences are my reality. I really do feel lucky to recognize and enjoy it while I'm here on Mama Earth! 

Oh yeah. Everybody should recycle, protect our oceans, not litter, keep our sewers and rivers clean, ride bicycles instead of driving, garden and compost in their backyard, and be nice to one another. After all, It was earth day.

1 comment:

Trevor and Sara said...

BEAUTIFUL post, Bethany! Well said! And whileI may never jump out of an airplane, I too am in awe of LIFE in general. Amazing stuff...