I recently came upon a poem my son wrote when he was in kindergarten. In essence, it was a love poem to the world. Not only did it make my heart melt as a mother, but it also reminded me of the way we experience the world when we are in touch with innocence and wonder.
With my son’s permission, who is now almost a teenager, I share it with you:
Trees sometimes grow apples
and sometimes people eat them
They are good
I like all the food in the world
World is great
I love you world
I miss you world
Thanks for everything
You did a great job
Although this poem moves me in part because my son wrote it, there is more to it than that. It also ignites the ecopsychologist and indigenous soul in me.
I am struck by children’s natural impulse to speak directly to the world, and to give back through creativity and love.These impulses are in all of us. They just get covered over.
I am also taken by the parallels to indigenous wisdom. In the high Andes, for example, the word anyi means reciprocity. It is understood that rituals of giving back are needed to maintain harmony and balance individually and collectively. These rituals are called despachos and are one way of expressing gratitude directly to the earth.
We can learn from these acts of reciprocity. We can also learn from the children who remind us of a more simple, and direct relationship with our world, one filled with wonder.
This Spring, on behalf of the Earth and the children, I invite you to engage your indigenous soul, and your childlike innocence:
Ritual for Change:
A LOVE LETTER/POEM to the EARTH
1. Put some time aside to go to a place in nature that opens your imagination and heart.
2. Stay there for some time allowing your senses to awaken. Engage your six senses. They are your channels of intimacy with the world.
3. When you are ready, write love letter or poem to this place.
4. Read it aloud as an offering of anyi or reciprocity with the earth.
5. Always leave time for receptivity after giving an offering. There may be a response coming your way. Trust whatever your western mind rejects!
May we come to know ourselves as the living earth and allow the deep imagination that is ignited in these sacred conversations to guide our actions and fill the world with soul.