My mom loved nature. She admitted that her awe for all things growing developed out of need for solace from a difficult childhood and marriage. She passed on her deep relationship with our Earth to me. Communicating with trees and plants and animals became my foundation, my very roots, as we moved for my father’s work all over the country. Forever having to leave human friends taught me to seek the embrace of every natural habitat in which we lived.
After I read ‘Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman, I studied myself, my family, and friends for the ways in which we each speak and accept love. I followed his suggestions to listen to every person’s complaints and frequent requests. From these observations, I discerned how they and I recognize love.
The five methods include receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch.
When I watch our Earth, She most definitely brings me presents with the songs of birds, the scent of flowers, and so much more. Shimmering green leaves under winter rains and colorful blooms lighten my day. Make me feel more alive. Spending any amount of time in nature feels like quality time. She’s always here to provide that opportunity. Making the time to listen is difficult and I haven’t been sure I heard words of affirmation until a friend pointed to a forest and said,
“Look, all the trees are forever giving us a standing ovation.”
Her acts of service are defined by every piece of fruit or vegetable that grows from Her soil. This includes herbs for healing and health when I know where to look for them. Physical touch is available when I tickle my face with a blade of grass or recline on Her crust no matter if it's sand, clay, grass, or dirt. I used to have an emergency tree to lean against for love on a bad day.
In Her own way, She’s shown me all five languages of love. In this season of Valentine’s Day, I began to wonder how I could let Her know that I cherish the world She has created for my pleasure.
I’ve begun again to gift Her bits of food I’m eating by placing them in a ceremonial bowl while thanking Her for the bounty. I offer the bowl’s contents to the birds the next day. A compost pile is started for next year’s garden and Her nourishment.
Quality time is easily done by going for a walk or sitting in the sun. Listening to the music of rain on the roof or walking through the density of fog.
I am choosing acts of service to Her by lightening my footprint on Her with attention to being less wasteful, using less fuel and water, and not accepting food wrapped in plastic. I am writing letters against the actions of corporations that would rearrange Her mountains and rivers for fracking and mining and the military which wants to practice sonar blasting in the Pacific Ocean.
I am supporting the planting of trees which communicate to each other and to Her through their roots. I show appreciation by saying thanks out loud when I pick a tomato or a flower. Being aware of every footstep as practiced by those in SW pueblos gives me a conscious connection of energy exchange to help Her feel loving touch.
Maybe if we all show a little more love for Her using one or more of these five expressions of love, She will know that we don’t want to lose Her. That we want to maintain our relationship with Her for now and for our future generations.