Rick's Journal

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

It's a day like any other, except it isn't.   It's about your Mother.   You remember?   The person who carried you around for nine months, at great personal cost, then gave birth to you, then cared for you for years while you pooped, threw up, fell down, bumped your knees, learned to talk, have tantrums and get sassy.   Does that ring a bell?    Well, it should, because it's today.

I was thinking about Mother's Day because of two things.   The first one is because of the Earth.   The Earth is the mother to all of us.   She cares for us, provides for us, gives us everything we need to live our lives and be part of the world.   She provides pure water, fertile soils, fresh air, beautiful flowers and birds and gentle rains.   She offers delicious foods, spices and sweet juices.   She has animals and fish to help us as well.   She offers all of these things for us to make our homes, our families and our communities good places for us all.

Except we don't respect her gifts.  We think we can make them better, so we mess around with the seeds.   We tear up the ground digging and drilling and bulldozing and mining.    We spill our oil and we poison our lawns.   We foul the air with our smoke and our chemicals.   We throw away mountains of trash in our oceans and our soils, and expect her to take care of it for us.    We don't respect her gifts or her, or really recognize her importance in our lives.

Have you ever had someone who left, who walked away when you took them for granted?   Have you ever felt that feeling where you woke up and realized you took so much for granted, and you never shared how you really felt, or showed how you felt with your actions to back it up?  Like when we don't stand up for a person who needs someone to 'have their back'?   Don't we do that to the Earth day in and day out every day?

Yeah, I know what you're thinkin'.   "Hey Rick, we already have a day for the Earth," you remind me.  "It's called Earth Day, you know?"  

Well, I don't think it is enough.   We should call her by her real name, Mother.   Because that is what she is.   And honestly, I don't think picking up some trash or remembering to recycle once a year is really what we need right now.   We need a lot more.  

We need a big shift.   A new mindset that brings about results and creates change.   We need to experience it personally, ourselves, and it needs to be powerful.   We need a deep inner change, not a bunch of minor action once a year.   We need to then act on it every day, every time, and speak our truth about it and have Her back.  

The scary thing is, we only get once chance at this.   Once she is gone, we don't get a second chance.   (See Japan's blown nuclear Reactor for more details about this.   Or Chernobyl.   Or fill in the blank Superfund Site.)    Once we really mess up, it is gone forever, for all of us.   FOREVER.

So I am thinking of her on this Earth Day, and raising a hand carved timber frame from sustainable wood grown locally.   We built it with old tools, most from the mid 1800's, hand made by blacksmiths almost 200 years ago.   We love those old tools, the chisels, the broad axes, the saws and drawknives.   We love working with wood, and making something beautiful that will last for years and generations.   It is our way of giving back and helping our communities and the land.

The second thing I was thinking about was my personal mom.   Which got me to thinking about my past and my family.   About how it was tough for her, raising three kids, alone, and moving from California to New York when I was nine, in 1973, and trying to figure things out.    She worked hard to raise us, and I know she wished she could have done more for us, as our family grew to five kids, all with needs and demands that she alone just couldn't meet.  It wasn't easy, but there were some good things that helped.  

One was nature.   I always had a love of the outdoors and play and adventure, and she encouraged this throughout my formative years.   I roamed freely the woods, fields, swamps and mountains, and got to be out more than I was in.   It made a huge difference for me, and it is one that helps me offer this to the students that come to us.   For this I am grateful and happy.

The second was enrolling me in the Waldorf School.   I was first a student at the Sacramento Waldorf School and then when we moved to New York, at the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School.   Both where pioneering schools then, still growing and finding their way.  I know it was challenging for the teachers and the parents and the kids in lots and lots of ways.   But this helped me tons, and I had lots of mentors and people who cared about me and my friends and I was inspired and given tools.   Lots and lots and lots of tools.   And skills, and ways of seeing and being that make a difference.

So thanks, Mom.   You did good.  You still do good.   I love you both.   Have a happy day!