This We Know

Contemplating the earth we have encountered in our time at our current home

This we know the earth does not belong to us,

we belong to the earth.

This we know,

all things are connected.

Chief Seattle

For the last fourteen years, we have watched the earth around our home blossom and change.  The roots of this pear tree at one point separated into parallel branches growing tall into the sky.

We didn’t notice the splitting of one branch into two or the day-to-day growth that looks miraculous when we look back at pictures of this same tree over a decade ago.

It’s often when we are leaving a place that we can see it clearly.  Is there any piece of earth which you see everyday that has grown so familiar that you take it for granted?

In our modern life, we seem to have our priorities backwards.  We fight to “own” our piece of the earth and property, rather than asking:

What would the earth have me do in the short span of time that I am here?

I happen to think tending gardens, especially with children is one of the great things we can do to remember our connection to the earth.  For all my life, I will be grateful to my mother for introducing me to the life of plants and trees.  It is ultimately because of her that I took the time to plant gardens at the home we are now leaving.  Planting those trees and gardens was one of the best uses of my time in the last decade.

How about you?

Daily Contemplation:

In what way has belonging to the earth, changed your perspective on your life and maybe even today?

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10 thoughts on “This We Know

  1. jamieaaron03 says:

    I love the times I feel connected to the Earth, I love sitting on my back porch when it rains, especially if it’s early in the morning or late at night and everyone else is asleep.

  2. microrrelatososhortstories says:

    My mom’s home is on two lots, the house on one, the garage and garden on the other; and it is because of this garden that we have refrained from building on that lot. There are 4 big trees on it: bambu (which I have no idea if it’s a tree), an olive, a fig and another huge strong tree. They are the dwellers of this lot which eventhough the financially intelligent thing to do is build on it we can’t bear see then die, they have grown with us and the bambu has grown with my daughter- we planted it when she was born, and it’s growing as fast as she is, it’s her soul watching over her grandmother when she’s not with her…it’s magical and enchanting to be in the middle of my mom’s garden…read you soon, Alexandra

    • Karen Wan says:

      Alexandra, I love the approach you have to honoring the magic of the garden and the trees and your mom. I know that it’s not always possible for people to do what you’re doing, but I think it’s wonderful when we are able to guard the green spirits of a place. I’m hoping that the people who move into this place will care for the trees and plants here as much as I have. I’m certainly going to care for the ones at the home where we are moving. Thanks for your comment, it’s beautiful what you’re doing. Karen

  3. heavenhappens says:

    Moving to a bungalow for husband’s health I had to leave my lovingly tended gardens behind . The bungalow had a “low maintenance” garden which made it look a bit barren. So I planted trees, lots of my favourites which I had in pots at the last house, – a japanese maple which I grew from seed, an oak from an acorn, a quince, a mountain ash, a bay tree and several rose bushes. It already had pear and apple trees along fencing so now it looks a lot greener and it attracts lots of birds.
    I feel so connected to trees and I loved your photo and post so thank you x

    • Karen Wan says:

      Thank, and that sounds wonderful. I love Japanese Maple trees but have not planted one. To grow it from seed, sounds amazing! That may be a tree that we add to the new home.
      My new home has younger trees mostly, so that will be fun to watch them grow. I saw a crabapple tree blooming beautifully in the springtime there (that’s how long we’ve been waiting to get approval on the bid for the house).
      I’m blessed to have lived with trees growing up around me most of my life. I still remember the weeping willow trees and peach tree and strawberry patch in our back yard from when I was very young. Nature memories are some of my strongest ones. It sounds like you have created many beautiful ones as well!

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