05 April 2012

E is for Earth

Flipping the image didn't seem right...
is for earth, that is, the dirt we all came from.

Even now we're shaking off the chill of winter. The gardens are still softening. Rain brings a new smell to things, a smell I've come to equate with a promise of color.

I still can't quite believe what happens when a seed is planted: a dead, dried up plant fragment receives water, light, and warmth, and produces another plant. No matter how many times I see it, the process is thrilling.

The earth embraces what is lifeless and releases what is reborn; it allows the fragile stems of pines and roses to poke their heads through its surface, then supports and grows them as long as they live.

In many ways, the earth is rightfully called mother.

The other day I was driving home and I drove through some dust; it was a huge cloud, and as I was in it, I wondered at our ability to trivialize the amazing - mostly because of our familiarity with it. Within that earth-cloud, I remembered - again - what I was crafted from.
C.S. Lewis wrote a poem called "The Adam At Night," it's about man's relationship with the ground before the fall, how man was actually able to hear the earth speak. Here's a few lines:

...He rejoined Earth, his mother.

He melted into her nature. Gradually he felt
As though through his own flesh the elusive growth,
The hardening and spreading of roots in the deep garden;


...Finger-like, rays from the heavens that probed, bringing
To bloom the gold and diamond in his dark womb.
The seething, central fires moved with his breathing.*

We've lost a lot since that first breaking away when we turned from God. But if we can see the earth, the ground for what it was, maybe we can see more clearly who it is Christ wants us, and the earth, to become.

From the earth he made us, to the earth we will return, from the earth he will call us once more.


Read more about my theme this April in my intro to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Or visit the home page here.

*From: Poems, edited by Walter Hooper, 1992.


Jenn said...

I love to garden-- and I am always amazed at what a little soil, sunlight, and warmth will do to a seed. I've seen it so many times--and each time it brings the promise of a new life.

Wonderful post!!

Cheers, Jenn

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We came from the dirt and to there we shall return. (Our bodies anyway.)

Alex said...

Perhaps what's so wonderful about that poem is its limitations. The beauty of what C.S. Lewis is describing can only start to relate what will ultimately be gloriously finished in the creation of New Heavens and New Earth. Woh!

Violet said...

I love that we still call the Earth "Mother" as it makes me feel more grounded in doing so. I could always use that!

Violet @ Revolution ~ Evolution

Man O' Clay said...

Jenn, it never gets old, does it? Well put Alex (both of you). Violet, I suppose the pun was intended? :)

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