Happy Earth Day! Creating Hope in the Midst of Seeming Chaos

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Happy Earth Day 2023!

Happy Earth Day!  

If you look at the wild weather all over the world, the rising oceans, and more, it seems like we’re descending into chaos. However, there is so much going on at the grass roots level that is creating signs of hope.  More than that: celebrating Earth Day — and creating those signs of hope in the midst of seeming chaos— is actually a spiritual practice.  Read on to find out why.

On the one hand, things look dire. Climate change is accelerating, and we’re seeing extreme weather. Earth’s geo-magnetics are increasingly unstable, so we’re seeing a lot more earthquakes.  We have also been experiencing m-class and x-class solar flares, and more. 

Climate change is definitely part of the unraveling that is occurring right now. Some say that we are beyond the point of no return. But if you look beyond the headlines you will see a lot that is already shifting.  All over the world people are gathering to make a difference.

Regenerative Farming

Have you heard of regenerative farming?  It’s a “holistic, living-systems approach to growing food that restores soil health, biodiversity, and water cycles.” If you haven’t of it, you will start seeing more people talking about it, as it is gaining momentum all over the world.  

This is a really significant shift. Regenerative farming works on so many levels.  It brings nutrients back to the soil, adds necessary carbon to the soil, and helps cool the planet by reducing carbon emissions. It works by restoring the whole ecosystem where every part of the web supports every other part.

This is truly good news because big ag is going to have to shift.  It won’t go happily, but this is part of the larger unraveling I’ve been talking about as part of the shift from top-down power and structures to power of the people.

Creating Farming Alliances

There are other signs too.  In the UK, a small group of volunteers recently started the People’s Food and Farming Alliance (PPFA).  It is spreading rapidly well beyond the boundaries of the British Isles. Here in the States, where I live, Green America has started a Soil and Climate Alliance, which is bringing together “a network of farmers, food business, and soil scientists” to “build an agricultural system that is resilient, equitable, and inclusive while also improving water quality, biodiversity, food security, and nutrition.”   

I’ve been a part of “Community Supported Agriculture” for several years. I purchase a “share,” which means I receive locally grown vegetables that are completely chem-free. Without knowing it, my CSA farm is creating the kind of network that the Soil and Climate Alliance is aiming for.  Friends of the farm owners, who owned a local market, have to move away, and my CSA farm is taking over the store.  That will let me get fruit in addition to vegetables.  

So why am I talking about all this? This is part of the larger shift that we are in the midst of.  Big ag has created a lot of issues for all people:  soil depletion, lack of nutrients, the fact that almost all of us have neurotoxins in our systems because of the pesticides, etc.  This approach is not sustainable for any of us in the long term.

Shifting Our Of Old Patterns

As we move out of the old top-down structures, we are seeing these old systems which do not serve people or the planet unravel.  It is heartening to already see the signs of the grass-roots, collaborative, and equitable systems which are coming.

From a spiritual perspective, these shifts are also necessary.  I’ve talked before about how the mis-translation of the Hebrew Scriptures had not only led to, but fostered, the kind of raping of the land that big ag has essentially done. 

So much of the Western world’s squandering of the world’s resources comes out of a mis-translation or interpretation of the text of Genesis 1.  The Hebrew word that is translated “have dominion over” (for example., humans are to have dominion over the birds of the air and the fish of the sea) actually means “to be stewards of.” 

There is a huge difference between having dominion over and being stewards of the birds of the air and the fish of the sea.  Stewardship means the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. This is exactly what regenerative farming and these alliances are creating.  

If we went beyond that, and truly got the fact that all parts of creation are related – and treated plants, animals, minerals, and rocks as interconnected — that would change everything!  And that is the precisely the shift that we are being called into as we move into this Aquarian age.

Creating Hope in the Midst of Seeming Chaos

Moreover, it’s something where each of us, individually, and collectively can do our part.  How can you make a difference?  Here are some ideas:

🌎      Find a CSA (Community Sustained Agriculture) farm in your area, become a member, and get your own box of locally and sustainably grown produce.  I can attest that it tastes so much better than anything you’ll find in the stores – and lasts longer in the fridge, too!

🌎     Start a “Climate Victory Garden.” Based on the WWII practice of creating “Victory Gardens” due to rationing, this is more than a simple Earth Day practice.  Some Victory Gardens are being created specifically to help create food security and build community in marginalized neighborhoods.

🌎      If you can’t do either of those things, eat and support local agriculture.  You can ask for locally grown foods at your regular grocery store.  Even better, you can find the farm markets and food coops in your area and support them.

🌎     Eat seasonally.  Did you know that your food has more nutrients when you eat it in season?  More than that, Chinese Medicine talks about eating seasonally because the nutrients from the food of that season are best for your body in that season.

Doing these things is spiritual work. We are part of a huge interconnected web. What would it look like if we actually acted that way?  What if, instead of having dominion and subduing, we honored the whole earth, including all of its creatures, and the ecosystem itself?  

This Earth Day, can you make one ongoing change? Let’s act as stewards instead of subduers.  In doing so, you can foster hope in the midst of the seeming chaos.

Quotes in this article come from “Know Farmers, Know Food.” Green American.  Spring, 2023: 11-12.  If you don’t know Green America, it a non-profit organization that is doing some wonderful things in our world. I’ve been a supporter for more than two decades.  Here is the link for more information.

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