Inspiration to Make You Fall in Love With Our Earth

To celebrate Earth Day, I share with you some of my favorite recent inspirations that have made me fall more in love with Nature and our Mother Earth:

“She's never forgotten, either, how a mystery caught in the hand could lose its grace.”   -Barbara Kingsolver

1. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

Kingsolver, one of my favorite authors, weaves together three characters in southern Appalachia as they attempt to navigate the Earth around them as well as their own human nature.  Her website calls this novel, "a hymn to wildness."








2. The photography of Katernia Plotnikova.  Here is a teaser:

3. A podcast interview from OnBeing with Wangari Maathai, Planting the Future:
"A remarkable Kenyan woman and environmentalist speaks from experience about the links between ecology, human flourishing, war and peace, and democracy. And she shares her thoughts on where God resides."

4. This quote:

5. This short video of the famous words by Carl Sagan about our Earth, "The Pale Blue Dot," paired with thought-provoking images of our world.

"If the self is expanded to include the natural world, behavior leading to destruction of this world will be experienced as self-destruction."
 -David Suzuki

6. The Sacred Balance by David Suzuki
From his website:
"The basic message of this seminal, best-selling work remains the same: We are creatures of the earth, and as such, we are utterly dependent on its gifts of air, water, soil, and the energy of the sun. These elements are not just external factors; we take them into our bodies, where they are incorporated into our very essence...
As social animals, we have an absolute need for love; without it, we suffer dire psychological and physical consequences... Finally, we have spiritual needs, which are ultimately rooted in nature, the source of our inspiration and belonging. These are the real requirements of all humanity and should form the basis of any society aspiring to a truly sustainable future."


7. This quote:

8. Best of all, take yourself into nature.  Pick up a leaf and notice its subtle colors and lines.  Sit in the grass and look at the clouds.  Or consider a forest bath.

Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
— Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Uganda from above

One of my very favorite things is to fly over the Earth on a clear day, sitting contently in a window seat; I easily get lost in the stunning landscapes below me, sitting in awe at the beauty of our Earth as I see it from a new perspective.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the good fortune to be flown to Gulu, in transit to our school in Nimule, South Sudan.  My stop in Gulu was one of three stops and knowing that Kidepo National Park was one of them, I casually mentioned I wouldn't mind being the last to be dropped off if others were in a hurry to reach their destinations.  The other passengers were pleased and the pilot obliged, which means I sat happily in my seat, watching Uganda pass under me. 

In one trip we flew over the packed slums of Kampala to Uganda's most remote game park, witnessing within a couple of hours the juxtaposition of Kampala's jammed traffic to a huge herd of water buffalo spread across the Karamoja plains.

Do you see the buffalo herd? (10th picture down)