Today I'd like to start by reading you a piece of writing by DH Lawrence - it goes like this.
'Oh what a catastrophe for man when he cut himself off from the rhythm of the year, from his unison with the sun and the earth. Oh what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made a personal, merely personal feeling, taken away from the rising and setting of the sun, and cut off from the magic connection of the solstice and equinox. This is what is the matter with us. We are bleeding at the roots, because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars, and love is a grinning mockery, because, poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the tree of Life, and expected it to keep on blossoming in our civilised vase on the table.'
To me, this speaks very eloquently of the disconnect we have from our earth, it's clearly not something new, I believe it probably crept upon us fairly slowly and it probably started around about five thousand years ago, when the first person planted the first seed as a deliberate act - and we transitioned from hunter gatherers to farmers. In this single act it seems that people stopped seeing the earth as First Mother - giver all of all bounties, of every breath, every mouthful and every thirst quenching slurp and started instead to see her as a resource, something to be used. Slowly over time we then transitioned from farmers - all of us still aware of where our food came from, still with some connection to our total reliance on earth's bounties - to business men and women who see themselves, ourselves as somehow separate. Above. Not dependant upon the whims of rain fall and sunshine to provide us with our food, no longer dependant on that chance that made the seed fall on fertile ground. I'm not for one moment suggesting that we should go back to being hunter gatherers, but I would like to suggest, most respectfully, that we are as dependent on Mother Earth to provide us with absolutely everything we are, everything we have, everything we need today, as we were when Eve ate the apple.
I'd like to leave you with another piece of writing, written well over a hundred years after the first piece. It's by Susan Griffin from her book 'Women and Nature' and among many other pieces of beautiful poetry and prose is perhaps and indication that as a society we are starting to unlearn our terrible disconnect.
"This earth is my sister: I love her daily grace, her silent daring, and how loved I am, how we admire this strength in each other, all that we have lost, all that we have suffered, all that we know: we are stunned by this beauty, and I do not forget: what she is to me, what I am to her."
Let's not forget.