Today We Thank Mother Earth


“Lord, the air smells good today, straight from the mysteries

within the inner courts of God.

A grace like new clothes thrown

across the garden, free medicine for everybody.

The trees in their prayer, the birds in praise,

the first blue violets kneeling.

Whatever came from Being is caught up in being,

drunkenly forgetting the way back.”

 

—Rumi

 

Zinnias grown, photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

Zinnias grown, photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

 

 

The beauty of the earth is everywhere, mankind has not destroyed what we have been given. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

The beauty of the earth is everywhere, mankind has not destroyed what we have been given. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

 

“too much industry

too much eats

too much beer

too many cigarettes

 

Too much philosophy

too many thought forms

not enough rooms—

not enough trees

 

Too much Police

too much computers

to much hi fi

too much Pork

 

Too much coffee

too much smoking

under slate grey roofs

Too much obedience

 

Too many bellies

Too many business suits

Too much paperwork

too many magazines

 

Too much industry

No fish in the Rhine

Lorelei poisoned

Too much embarrassment.

 

Too many fatigued

workers on the train

Ghost Jews scream

on the street corner

 

Too much old murder

too much white torture

Too much one Stammheim

too many happy Nazis.

 

Too many crazy students

Not enough farms

not enough Appletrees

Not enough nut trees

 

Too much money

Too many poor

turks without vote

“Guests” do the work

 

Too much metal

Too much fat

Too many jokes

not enough meditation.”

 

—Allen Ginsberg, twentieth century Beats poet

 

 

The skies are filled with the beauty of Mother Earth. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

The skies are filled with the beauty of Mother Earth. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

May we all remember to thank Mother Earth for what we have been given. May we ask forgiveness for what we have destroyed. May we do restitution to our planet to undo what we have destroyed. May our words, prayers and actions make a difference.

Female lion on watch. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

Female lion on watch. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

My Dream


I have a dream, a dream of peace. My dream is a world without borders between countries. Mother Earth would be one endless landscape where all are welcome and appreciated. My world would have new priorities. People would see themselves in others and therefore would not work to hurt or disparage others.

 

Resources would be willingly shared with all no matter what they look like or who they love. I dream that the homo sapiens would face challenges in our world together. No one looking to be more or have more than other people.

 

I dream of a world where communities are not deliberately fragmented. No one must do without because it is inconceivable not to share. It matters to each of us that we all have what we need to thrive and enjoy success.

 

As I watched the mountains turn a little more green each day, I was mesmerized by all the shades of green and the light. It shimmered and shined across the mountains. The peacefulness was healing and inspiring. Each day, a different kind of tree began to bloom. From the bottom of my heart, I was filled with gratitude for being able to watch life come out of its long winter sleep. There were many people around me who were sharing the same experience. A smile here, a nod there and we knew that we were filled with gratitude and love for our planet.

 

Mother Earth was a gift given to humans from the Universe. Each blade of grass, each leaf on trees and shrubs, each floral scent carried on the wind is a boon for our lives. Life is precious and it is found everywhere. We are charged to take care of each other and what we have been given. It is up to us to love and care for everyone. It is up to us to care for everything in our world. We need to be responsible.

 

“Gratitude to Mother Earth, sailing through night and day—

and to her soil: rich, rare, and sweet

in our minds so be it.

 

Gratitude to Plants, the sun-facing light-changing leaf

and fine root-hairs; standing still through the wind

and rain; their dance is in the flowing spiral grain

in our minds so be it.

 

Gratitude to Air, bearing the soaring Swift and the silent

Owl at dawn. Breath of our song

clear spirit breeze

in our minds so be it.

 

Gratitude to Wild Beings, our brothers and sisters, teaching secrets,

freedoms, and ways; who share with us their milk,

self-complete, brave and aware

in our minds so be it.

 

Gratitude to Water; clouds, lakes, rivers, glaciers,

holding or releasing, streaming through all

our bodies salty seas

in our minds so be it.

 

Gratitude to the Sun, blinding pulsing light through

trunks of trees, through mists, warming caves where

bears and snakes sleep-he who wakes us-

in our minds so be it.

 

Gratitude to the Great Sky

who holds billions of stars–and goes yet beyond that-

beyond all powers, and thoughts

and yet is within us-

Grandfather Space. The Mind is his Wife.

so be it.

—Gary Snyder (after a Mohawk prayer)

 

 

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Mountain stream Photographed and copyrighted 2015

Mountain stream
Photographed and copyrighted 2015

 

 

Blue Ridge Mountains Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

Blue Ridge Mountains
Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

New Horizons


some very old trees

some very old trees

In the midst of all of the darkness we find ourselves in, there are exciting and positive things happening. We can’t dwell on death but we can work on taking care of Mother Earth.

A young woman named Meryl Marsh is the director of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive. This is a world wide organization that devotes itself to preserving the DNA of our oldest and strongest trees on the planet; trees which have survived drought, fires, insect infestations and the greed of loggers.

Ms. Marsh and her team cut limbs off of these trees to use them to preserve the DNA, and the genetic memory held within the DNA. All living things have DNA and we are connected to the Universe and to each other. Guns, fire, saws, brutality cannot break that connection.

The people in this project are working to ship these small branches in coolers to specialized labs where they pare them down and root them and try to grow again that wonderful tree that it came from.They are having a 2 % success rate. Yes, it does sound small but as they learn more I know they will have more successes.

Their successes include Irish giant oaks, and our Sequoia treesThey will take the living offspring and replant them in their countries of origin, where they will grow and perpetuate the grand old forests. Imagine refilling the world with strong living trees. The Giant Sequoia, Black Willow and Redwood trees are also being used. Good luck to this inspiring organization. I am sure Mother Earth will reward your spirit and love for all her living creatures.

Hug a tree today and tell it how important it is to you.

Hug a tree today and tell it how important it is to you.

The Blessing of Trees


1000 year old trees in wales

1000 year old trees in wales

I really love trees and the energy they give off is truly amazing. They are so strong and protecting. They help keep the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Mother Earth needs that assistance.When I was a little girl, I used to think trees sleep in the winter. And woke up in the spring.

“The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me.

The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
the rhythm of the sea,
speaks to me.

The faintness of the stars,
the freshness of the morning,
the dewdrop on the flower,
speaks to me.

The strength of fire,
the taste of salmon,
the trail of the sun,
and the life that never goes away,
they speak to me.

And my heart soars.”
——Chief Dan George

 Truly Magestic Tree

Truly Magestic Tree

Our most secred scripture is the “holy book” of Nature

“It is written on the arched sky,
It looks out from every star…
It is spread out like a legible lanuage upon the
broad face of an unsleeping ocean.
It is the poetry of Nature,
It is that which uplifts the spirit within us…
—Thomas Berry

A tunnel of trees

A tunnel of trees

Oak Alley Plantation, NO; Acrylic on stretched canvas;  By Barbara Mattio

Oak Alley Plantation, Lousiana; Acrylic on stretched canvas; By Barbara Mattio

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The Sacred Writings for Mother Earth


The trees are our guardians.

The concept that Mother Earth is sacred is not a contemporary one. Through the millenniums all spiritual paths have written, repeated and taught sacred prayers and thoughts about our earth. Some are filled with praise or thanksgiving. Some are requests for the needs for the earth and the people. Some are just being aware of the beauty of Mother Earth.

Over time, people have used Earth Prayer to maintain and return to a vivid relationship with the Earth. Sometimes, we just have an appreciative heart for our food or our water. As all of the grateful thoughts and prayers, Gathas or verses we read during our meditations rise to the Heavens we look for forgiveness for the injury we have done to our planet and request healing to reduce the damage.

“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
Across the door-sill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep!
—Rumi

“All life is your own,
All fruits of the earth
Are fruits of your womb,
Your union, your dance.
Lady and Lord,
We thank you for blessings and abundance.
Join with us, Feast with us, Enjoy with us!
Blessed be.
—Starhawk

“Holy persons draw to themselves all that is earthly.”
—–Hildegard of Bingen

“I entrust myself to earth,
Earth entrusts herself to me.
I entrust myself to Buddha,
Buddha entrusts herself to me”.
—Thich Nhat Hanh

“May the axe be far away from you,
May the fire be far away from you;
May there be rain without storm,
Lord of Trees, may you be blessed.
Lord of Trees, may I be blessed.”
——Hindu Prayer

“When you walk across the fields with your mind pure and holy,
then from all the stones, and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks
of their soul come out and cling to you, and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you.”
—Hasidic Saying

“Bless Adonai
who spins day into dusk
With wisdom watch
the dawn gates open,
with understanding let
time and seasons
come and go;
with awe perceive
the stars in lawful orbit.
Morning dawns,
evening darkens,
darkness and light yielding
one to the other,
yet each distinguished
and unique.

Marvel at Life!
Strive to know its ways!
Seek Wisdom and Truth,
the gateways
to Life’s mysteries!

Wondrous indeed
is the evening twilight.”
—–Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

“Goodnight God
I hope that you are having
a good time being the world.
I like the world very much.
I’m glad you made the plants
and trees survive with the
rain and summers.
When summer is nearly near
the leaves begin to fall.
I hope you have a good time
being the world.
I like how God feels around
everyone in the world.
God, I am very happy that
I live on you.
Your arms clasp around the world.
I like you and your friends.
Every time I open my eyes
I see the gleaming sun.
I like the animals—-the deer,
and us creatures of the world,
the mammals.
I love my dear friends”
—-Danu Baxter, Four and a half years old

“Teach your children
what we have taught our children–
that the earth is our mother.
Whatever befalls the earth
befalls the sons and daughters of the earth.
If men spit upon the ground,
they spit upon themselves.

This we know.
The earth does does not belong to us;
we belong to the earth.
This we know.
All things are connected
like the which unites one family.
All things are connected.

Whatever befalls the earth
befalls the sons and daughters of the earth.
We did not weave the web of life,
We are merely a strand in it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.”
—-Chief Seattle

Carolina Beach, NC; Photo by Barbara Mattio

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Glimpses of Autumn


Blue Ridge Mountains, NC Photo by Barbara Mattio

” There are countless paths to the mountain’s summit. Yet from it the same moon pours radiance over the landscape.”
—-Ikkyu

Blue Ridge Mountains, NC Photo by Barbara Mattio

Entering the forest he moves not the grass; entering the water he does not make a ripple.”

Niagara Falls, Ontario Photo by Barbara Mattio

“It is deep autumn. What kind of life is my neighbors I wonder…”

Niagara Falls, Ontario Photo by Barbara Mattio

” One day a monk spoke bitterly to the Buddha about the unbearable sorrows of the world. The Buddha remained silent. Then he pointed at the earth between his feet, and said: ” On this earth I have attained awakening.”
Splendor of the World….no Why.

All quotes excerpted from Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing

Emerald necklace parks, Ohio Photo by Barbara Mattio

Lake Erie Islands, Lake Erie, Photo by Barbara Mattio

” Wherever you are is home
And the earth is paradise
Wherever you set your feet is holy land…
You don’t live off it like a parasite.
You live in it, and it in you,
Or you don’t survive.
And that is the only worship of God there is.”

——-Wilfred Pelletier and Ted Poole

Chautuaqua Institute, NY Photo by Barbara Mattio

The Little Things


Bonsai Show Photo by Barbara Mattio

The other day I went with a friend to the Bonsai show and it was a wonderful time. In the past the bonsai’s I have seen were indoor plants. I saw so many amazing outdoor plants and trees that were in miniature. It was so thrilling to see all of the tiny evergreens and the very tiny flowers.

I saw deciduous trees, all sporting a riot of colors. A miniature forest made up of tiny trees with perfect little leaves. I was amazed to see the texture, veining and color so familiar and yet so new in its tininess. Some were even smaller than any I had ever seen.

Bonsai Show Photo by Barbara Mattio

So much perfection was stunning and impressive to see. Tiny flowers looking like little specks of star dust landing on the branches. You could almost see in your mind’s eye a tiny bird sitting on a tiny nest. It is so touching to see a little leaf, smaller than your fingertip, just perfect in design and textures. The trunk gnarled and winding around itself just like you would see in every forest you have ever been in.

The Universe is an amazing place full of perfection, beauty, and breathtaking detail. That was what really got me. The detail that left nothing out. Each flower and tree complete in its minuteness. I think the Bonsai made me think much more about the detail that goes into everything in the Universe. What a wonderful gift to see from new eyes and perspective.

Bonsai Forest, Photo by Barbara Mattio