Our feet are planted

Earth Day.

That’s what it is today.

And I feel there’s so much to be said about it as I sit here in this house plunking out words surrounded by this open space, this landscape that cradles me, hills that gently roll, creeks that babble and trees that reach up to the sky and dig their roots in the gumbo soil.

The fog has settled in, the rain is misting on my window, the last snow drifts are hanging on for dear life and I feel like telling you something about what a day like today means to me. Me, a woman who leaves footprints in the mud, catches dust in her hair and steps out for kisses from the wind. A woman who recognizes the smell of each season rolling in and celebrates it with a walk, a listen, a photo, a good deep breath.

A woman who was raised in a place that depends on the sun, the rain, the snow, the wind to nourish the earth to feed the animals to feed our bodies…our souls.

I want to tell you how I came from the greatest stewards of the earth, people who have sacrificed and worked long hours through winter nights and hot sunshine to plant, to water, to feed, to fix, to take good care of this acreage that has been in the family for nearly 100 years. I want to tell you that nothing was more important to them than the land. Nothing had more of an effect on the lives that they led and nothing was more important for the generations to come.

Because long before Earth Day was established, my relatives were establishing their lives here and instilling in their children how to care for their world, how to encourage it to thrive, how to take from it and how to give back.

And I want to thank them for holding on so tight, for their children, for their children’s children…

for mine.

But most of all I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to hold this dirt in my hands, to frolic in it, to spread my wings and dig my roots in deep. I want to thank them for passing on something to believe in so strongly that I would give any material thing to belong here and work hard to make plans for it to remain in tact–the most fundamentally miraculous gift.

Yes, today the calendar says Earth Day and the people on our the planet are asked to take pause…

But out here our feet have always been planted like trees with our branches exposed standing in the face of the storms that pass, the ground that shifts and the soil that dries up, freezes, thaws and floods…

so we dig our roots deeper, reach up closer to the sun, pray harder, take good care…

and celebrate every day.

4 thoughts on “Our feet are planted

  1. I love the shift in nature from winter to spring…the plants-like people began to wake- up from their long winter sleep….thanks for sharing Jess

  2. Good for you, Jessie. People are always teasing me about North Dakota, and I just smile and think–well, you’ll never appreciate it or try to change it and I can live with that. I grieve over the oil spills and the other stuff that has been going on, but, I am always praying it will be relatively pristine as my ashes are scattered there when I am gone.

  3. 🙂 I love spring..my favorite season. I’m just wondering when it will finally come to stay..’tis only a week to go b4 it is May. Roads are washing out all over..hopefully next week will warm up. The American Indians celebrated Mother Earth every day… a good reminder. Nicole

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