S is for Soil.
Today is Earth Day and 2015 has been declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Soils. The purpose of this year-long focus is to raise awareness of why soils are important for food security and the ecosystem.
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN estimates that a third of all soils are degraded, due to erosion, compaction, soil sealing, salinization, soil organic matter and nutrient depletion, acidification, pollution and other processes caused by unsustainable land management practices.
Soil is considered “the skin of the Earth” and is the mixture of minerals, organic matter, gases, liquids, and countless organisms that support plant life. Soil has four primary functions: it is a medium for plant growth; a means of water storage, supply and purification; a modifier of Earth’s atmosphere; and it is a habitat for organisms all of which modify the soil.
The fact that so much of our soil is degraded is a source of serious concern.
I was hoping to spend some time in my garden today. It’s early days with the tulips just beginning to flower, and I still have some winter clean up to finish. But alas, I awoke to a dusting of snow (really Spring?!) so I think I’ll be postponing my hands-in-the-soil work until it warms up again.
Normally one of the ways I celebrate Earth Day is sending out a limited-edition zine or booklet I’ve created. But having been away on retreat earlier this month has really thrown my schedule into an inordinate state of chaos. And so today, on Earth Day itself, I think I’ll begin the project. Sounds perfect to me. It’s my version of a love letter to Mother Earth herself.
I think I’ll also spend time contemplating this wonderful prayer/poem by Megan Boyd:
All you creatures with wings,
Eagle and Bee,
Ichneumon Fly and Wren,
as you fly on our Mother’s breath,
I, your little sister,
carry my heartbeat morning prayer
in your wingbeat:
“How I love you —
How I thank you —”
Carry it up to our Mother’s lap,
carry it into our Father’s ear,
tree times around
the belly of the Earth.
I aspire to have all my footsteps on this beloved Earth be little prayers of love. And I think Dear Fool feels that way as well.
What about you? What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day? Are you a gardener? Love having your hands in the soil? Wonder why our planet is called Earth instead of Ocean? As delighted as I am to consider soil as the “skin” of the Earth? Do tell – you know I love to hear.
An article for a thought. Very nice. I really enjoy your way of writing.
Thanks Anna. I appreciate you stopping by to say hi.
This is lovely Deborah thank you. Why Mother Earth instead of Mother Ocean? Interesting thought. I love the thought of the soil as the skin of Earth. I’d never thought of that but it is a perfect metaphor. Without skin what would it be? All those lovely worms and seeds and roots germinating away … sprouting. The Fool must be dancing –
Before I get carried away – I’m about to go bath and bed, no lights at 8.3o p.m. My younger son is visiting and he and husband are watching sport on TV on this cold winter night. They wouldn’t do the lights off …
Wishing you sweet dreams always Susan.
It’s a very scary time for humanity – now the soil is turning against us… or we are turning it against us.
Thank you for visiting my blog yesterday 🙂
Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep
we must nurture and nourish our own soil….let’s all try abit of composting; whether you have a big compost bin, or a simple countertop container. Many uses for organic matter to enrich our soil for our gardens. HAPPY EARTH DAY!
Thumbs up to the composting Vicki. And Happy Earth Day!
I think we can safely say we own responsibility for this one. And hopefully we’ll turn it around soon. Thanks for stopping by Annalisa – I appreciate it.
AB FAB, as usual, Deborah! Glad I didn’t plant anything outside yet…30’s again tonight! Can’t wait to see how your Earth Day project turns out! There’s one heading your way!!!
Spring is having a hard time getting solid footing isn’t she? We may not be able to plant yet, but we can entertain ourselves with projects. 🙂
Earth really is a wonderful place. It was created by our loving God as a gift for us to live on (Psalms 115:16; Isaiah 45:18). He put everything we need to enjoy and comfortably exist right here on earth, including an abundance of food, vegetation, wonderful plants and flowers, the animals and nature. He even gave us the seasons, each one of which serves its own purpose (Genesis 1:1-31). Sadly, humans have not taken care of earth, this wonderful gift from God. Just as the global financial debt rises, so too earth’s ecological debt continues to mount. Like you mentioned in your post, we’ve ruined earth with chemical poisons, waste and pollution. We’re using up earth’s resources faster than it can naturally replenish itself. I am not a gardener, but hope to be better at this when God restores the earth to the magnificent paradise it was originally intended to be (Psalms 37:29; Revelation 11:18).
Thanks for sharing and visiting my blog. Happy gardening! 😉
Barbara @ http://entrepreneurialgoddess.blogspot.com
While we don’t share the same ideological beliefs Barbara, I do agree the Earth is a wonderful place.
I wish I had more time to celebrate it in the middle of the end-of-semester rush. I also don’t like living in a town that has nothing around it bur corn fields… I miss mountains, and rivers, and forests a lot…
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Wishing you some spaciousness around this clearly busy time. Hope you get to visit your beloved mountains, rivers and forests soon.
I love that poem by Megan Boyd. Chills of appreciation up my spine. Thank you for sharing this! I hope that spring sets in for good soon where you live. 🙂
It really IS lovely isn’t it Harmony? And here’s to Spring showing up soon, before she gets hustled on her way by Summer.