Monday, August 2, 2021

Hearing the Voice of the Earth

Today, every breeze, blade of grass, branch of the tree seems to be taking a deep breath as they pause for a moment. At the same time, they are looking over countless microorganisms in the bosom of the earth in this continuous cycle of life. So begins the column on listening to the sounds from the earth column of the Catholic Peace Weekly. The religious sister columnist is the gardener for the House of Ecological Spirituality.
Every year in early spring, they cook a pot of rice and go to the back mountain. Make delicious rice as if you were preparing a ritual meal, put it in an onion net, put it on the soil, and cover it with fallen leaves. If you go after a week or ten days, you will see white flowers in the onion nets. These flowers are the microorganisms and fungi that save our land. If we help them become friendly with our soil, all living things will live healthily. Countless microbes live in a handful of soil.
We need to do something to make sure these microbes are well established in the soil. Not spraying pesticides on the earth. Microorganisms cannot live in the soil sprayed with pesticides. Plants cannot grow properly in soil without microorganisms. So the farmers fertilize the land.
Fertilizers are growth promoters, earth absorbing more and better than it can absorb originally, you get a good-looking crop. However, the earth on which the  plant rests is broken and becomes hard soil. Farmers plow the fields with tractors to farm on hard soil that even a hoe cannot enter. In the past, she wondered how farmers would have done that when they farmed only with cows and plows, but she thinks that it would have been easier since you could use less labor for the soil was soft and alive.
The soil where microorganisms live does not have to be cultivated with a tractor, the soil is soft because the earth and microorganisms are creating space to breathe. Microbes and roots provide each other with what they need to live. Isn't that amazing? The fact that microbes invisible to our eyes cooperate with the roots to save the earth and other life…. She sees traces of God in this great cycle. Because this little microcosmic life reminds us again of the participation of God in our life— Koinonia.
Humans too quickly forgot these traces of God that nature remembers. Pesticides, fertilizers, and tractors prove it. And this is her feeling on the reality she has described. When we can see the soil properly and are conscious of the countless living matter that lives in it our eyes are opened to a new reality. It is like the disciples at Emmaus. We know that our current structure of thinking does not allow us to see reality as it is although we pretend to know.
The 'way to life is not the way for me to live alone, but the way for other lives to live'. Thich Nhat Hanh the Buddhist monk says that what we need to do to save our world: "Is to hear within us the sound of the earth crying." Only when we hear the cry of the earth within us will true healing be possible in our time.

What do we need to remember in the cycle of life? What choices should we make in this cycle?  Let's stop and listen to the countless sounds of life on the earth. It is really new the act of putting a pot of rice on the ground in the early spring in the back mountain like approaching an altar today. Come to think of it, the earth is the altar of the universe, and the farmer is the priest of the earth. I pray that many people will regain the preciousness of this work. Listening to the cry of the earth today....

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