Happy Earth Day everyone! This week the kids and I have been celebrating Mother Nature and all of her wonder. We've spent time outside, tended to our growing sprouts, talked about pollution and recycling, and started work on our Earth Day projects. This year we decided to spoil our birds with homemade and completely biodegradable bird treats and two new, very fancy homes for them to enjoy! The little ones picked out their houses and spent so much time painting them and decorating them. The birds in our yard have the most colorful houses around, that's for sure! The treats we made are so easy and I had everything on hand! If you want to make your little birds a super sweet treat you can follow this recipe! We decided to use clementines instead of large oranges so the kids could work with more ease. I used an all natural hemp to string them up and then we headed outside to adorn our little tree.
"When we feel that we’re fragile, not stable or solid, we can come back to ourselves and take refuge in the Earth. With each step we can feel her solidity beneath our feet. When we’re truly in touch with the Earth, we can feel her supportive embrace and her stability. We use all our body and our mind to go back to the Earth and surrender ourselves to her. With each breath we release all our agitation, our fragility, and our suffering. Just being aware of her benevolent presence can already bring relief.
On the verge of the Buddha’s enlightenment, he touched the Earth with his hand and asked her to bear witness to his awakening. Flowers sprang up in celebration at the very place where his hand touched the ground. At that moment, the Buddha’s mind became so free and so clear that he saw millions of flowers everywhere smiling at him.
We can be like the Buddha, and in difficult moments touch the Earth as our witness. We can take refuge in the Earth as our original mother. We can say, “I touch the pure and refreshing Earth.” Whatever nationality or culture we belong to, whatever religion we follow, whether we’re Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Jews, or atheists, we can all see that Mother Earth is a great bodhisattva. When we see her in this way, with all her many virtues, we will walk more gently on her and treat her and all her children more gently. We will want to protect her and not harm her or any of the myriad forms of life she has given birth to. We will stop wreaking destruction and violence on Mother Earth. We will resolve the question of what we mistakenly call “the environmental problem.” The Earth is not just the environment. The Earth is us. Everything depends on whether we have this insight or not."
-Excerpt from Love Letter to the Earth by Thich Nhat Hanh