Song of the Earth

Song of the Earth

For the past two decades whenever I asked how I can help the Earth, I heard to go into Nature and listen. When that answer first came I was living in Asheville, North Carolina, and would go sit on the deck and wonder how it could be that simple: Listen to Nature.

Gradually the seed that was planted began to take root in my mind and encounters with manatees, humpback whales and dolphins, while in their element, helped me listen deeper. The whales were perhaps my greatest teachers as they dropped into stillness and expanded their consciousness while wintering in warm waters. How could I say that? Because I have dropped into stillness with them while floating in their watery realm and they weren’t sleeping…they were dreaming.

Several years ago I was diving in Bonaire and humming in my regulator. As I paused while making this underwater music, I started to hear an answering tone or note. Tears flowed as I realized I was hearing the song of the ocean. My deeper listening was beginning to yield results. 

And then a few years ago I was riding my bicycle in the back country trails of a coastal state park. I used the time spent pedaling as meditation and that particular day I began hearing different tones of plants, marshes, trees…not so much an outer sound as an inner sound, as if I was connecting with various vibrations. As I pedaled onward I heard that each species, each individual, each place has a vibration and all together we make a chord or a song. When a species disappears or a place is violated, that chord becomes more dissonant. 

When Nature is destroyed or changed in harmful ways, the entire vibration of the planet changes. Not just in that one place, but everywhere. The Song of the Earth is altered and sound is the cosmic glue that holds it all together. Vibration. Energy. Once that is altered beyond repair, then chaos results. This is perhaps just a more esoteric version of what science is telling us about the massive changes our planet is experiencing and the sixth extinction in which we find ourselves.

Over the past few days I’ve been reviewing my path and what became clear is circles that keep presenting themselves in my life. Music and sound is one of those and seems to be the larger circle holding smaller ones that have been actively working in the depths.

Over the past few months I’ve been hearing to make music with Nature…to listen and work collaboratively with Nature. As I walk in the woods of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park I carry a native flute and as I play I pause and listen. I don’t want to play to Her, I want to play with Her. The more I do this, the stronger the feeling that when we listen to Nature we awaken a partnership with It and renew the bonds that have been broken, betrayed by humans.

As I was walking an unmarked, hidden trail two days ago, I felt the Earth–heard the Earth–asking me to play more music with Her. I kept hearing the questions, Why not now? Why wait?

Then yesterday I read an article from two years ago about Dahr Jamail’s book, The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption. It reminded me of the closing where he writes of listening to Earth and how I’ve been doing the same thing. Not for a couple of decades but all my life. The thread that weaves throughout this six decade experience is listening to Earth. That realization helped me relax about the trajectory of my life’s path and realize that those promptings I’d heard twenty years ago, two days ago, were about connecting with the Song of the Earth and listening…deeply listening. And then playing with Her music.

Listening to the giant white pine tree and playing a song with her. Listening to my favorite rock on Indian Creek Trail and playing with her. Sitting at the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a portal tomb in the Burren of Ireland, and playing an Irish whistle with the energies there. Collaboration with Earth…working together with Her. That’s my path, my life’s work.

Everyone can hear the Song of the Earth. When we calm our minds and begin to deeply listen, we can hear it calling us into communion, into the sacred dance of life. May we listen and hear before it’s too late.

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