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A Prayer to Mother Earth

Dear Mother Earth,

When growing up in Rio, I relished your mountains , forests, and waterfalls – playing with your rocks, tendrils, and monkeys. I would lie down on grass and marvel at your wild cloud formations. Your sunset rays dancing with my eyelashes felt like golden kisses. You were my wonderland, my playground, my healer, and my home.

As a teenager, seeing on TV the burning of your ancient Amazon trees and the animals who couldn’t escape broke my heart into a million pieces, as if a part of me was dying in those fires too.

At 19 years old, I drove to Maua, your untouched wilderness outside of Rio, where your creeks washed away my teenage angst, cleansed my spirit, and filled me with wonder and awe.

The symphonies of streams, birds, and crickets, the smells of moist soil, and the sights of entwined tree trunks – all conspired to jolt my body and spirit into the realm of the mystical. In this infinity, my heart softened, brimming with wild love for the beings of your Maua land.

That day, two profound realizations emerged through me: 1. You, Mother Earth, are pure medicine. 2. If all human beings took your medicine, they would both heal their own spirit and hold you sacred – never destroy you, mine you, rape you, and burn you as if you were just… nothing. Their / our relationship with you would be one of deep reverence, love, and reciprocity.

I’m so so sorry, Mother Earth, that my species lost its way, that it lost itself into the mad stories of radical religions, oppressive colonialism, war-hungry patriarchy, digital compulsion, and the most destructive addiction of all: greed.

Many say it’s too late. Perhaps your fever is just too high to regulate in time to prevent the demise of our civilization. Scientists say that the “heart of the world” – the Amazon – has passed its tipping point by 6% and to prevent further transformation into a savanna, we must completely halt deforestation and fully restore those 6% in just 5 years. Many of your other forests are already gone, the poles are melting, the seas are rising, your corals are bleaching, and the 6th mass extinction of species is well underway.

No matter how sick you are, I – and many others – will not turn our backs on you. Ever.

We are joining in community to feel the grief of losing you – so that this vulnerability, authenticity, and sense of belonging help us feel empowered. We are supporting each other in strengthening our resolve to take action every day – no matter how small or big.

We will keep deepening our love for you until it’s radically contagious. We will write, film, speak up, rally, donate, and vote for officials who put life and ecology at the center of all decisions, we will keep learning from you so we can transform our technologies and economies, we will listen to the sages from Wisdom Traditions and humbly ask our Indigenous friends – whom we’ve tortured, raped, and nearly decimated – for forgiveness and assistance in re-membering our true nature.

Mother, it hurts me to admit that this path isn’t easy. But there is no other sensible path other than choosing life choosing you!

I humbly ask that you help us, teach us, forgive us, and love us, into becoming a wise, peaceful, connected, down-to-earth, and life-affirming species. Please help us evolve, heal, and transform. Show us how to transmute our hatred, fear, and greed into unity, compassion, and gratitude.

As you have so many times before, I know you will heal, given a few million years – just a blink of an eye in your lifetime. But our human civilization is facing  unprecedented upheavals that will worsen exponentially. We may not survive them. If that’s our destiny, then please help us alleviate our suffering with your gifts of wonder, medicine, and mystery.

But please, dear mother, awaken us from our trance now and give us the wisdom, compassion, strength, and fierceness to change the human course before your wounds are far too deep for us to bear. 

Whatever the outcome, there is nothing else for us to do but to keep tending you – remembering that you still are and will always be our home, our wonderland, our playground, our healer, and our mother.

Thank you for giving us life every second of every day.

I love you,

Yours. Truly.

Sylvie

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