Once upon a time, when humans were still fairly new to living on the earth, they had a common language with Mother Earth.  There was an arrangement and understanding between Mother Earth and humans. 

“I will let you live here,” she said, “but we must stay in close communication.  We are interconnected, and must breathe in and out together, or neither of us will survive.”  Back then, humans still knew how to listen, and were attentive to the wisdom from Mother Earth.

“I will shelter you with my trees, and let you drink from my streams,” said Mother Earth, “but you need to stay in close touch with those trees and streams.  Do not pollute the streams, or you will not be able to drink from them.  Do not take too many trees, or you will not have enough oxygen to breathe.  Do not be greedy, or you will not survive.”

“There are other living beings here too,” she said, “but you must honor them and live in close harmony with one another.  If you take from the buffalo, to eat or to stay warm, you must honor the buffalo.  And do not take more than your share.”

“I have given you your senses,” said Mother Earth, “that you may stay close to me and always remember our connection.”

“Your eyes allow you to see beauty.  You need to stay close to beauty or you will lose contact with your own soul.”

“I have given you the capacity to hear.  Listen to the birds sing.  Listen to the ocean, and the wind through the leaves.  Feel the awe and humility you feel when surrounded by silence – and when silence is punctuated by nothing louder than the melodies of the birds.  Create nothing so jarring that it interferes with your ability to listen to the birds – or you risk losing your connection to your soul.

I have given you the capacity to taste and smell.  Never lose the wonder you experience upon tasting a raspberry.  Never lose the capacity for the sensual delight you experience when you smell jasmine in the evening.  If you lose your capacity for wonder, you will sacrifice the intimacy of our connection.  And the intimacy of our connection is necessary for my survival and for yours.

Breathe in and out with me; there is no other way for us all to stay alive.”

Credit: Deborah Brenner-Liss

Deborah Brenner-Liss, Ph.D.

Deborah Brenner-Liss, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in San Francisco. She has been in private practice since 1980. For the past 3 or so years, her passion and vision have been directed toward attending to the climate crisis. She is in the process of creating a website, Finding Right Balance, findingrightbalance.com. The website is devoted to addressing where and how we humans have fallen out of  "right balance" with Mother Earth and with our fellow non-human creatures -- and highlighting many authors and organizations with suggestions as to how to heal the rift and move forward toward righting this balance.