Grit Blogs > One Foot in the City

Are You in Love with the Earth, Or Just Dating?

Walk Along the River 

Joan Pritchard 

HeadshotI consider living on earth as being in a relationship, and, as in other relationships, often it is judged by your actions, not your words.  As an example, you may consider yourself in a loving married relationship, but if you forget your first anniversary, there may be some doubt about your presence.  So it is with your relationship with the earth.  There are levels of engagement that can be measured in action.  Are you in love with the earth or only dating?  Are you good friends with the earth, or only a passing acquaintance?  I assume at least that last level of engagement or you wouldn’t be reading this.

People act in all manner of strange ways in this world, but I’ve found a few test behaviors to check my relationship with earth.  For example,

If you buy gourmet beverages and refuse to recycle the can, you may be an acquaintance.

If you warm the sofa on a beautiful spring day, you’re either exhausted or an acquaintance.

If your lawn is still a perfectly irrigated, fertilized and mowed half acre of fescue, you’re probably an acquaintance.  If you just dug up a square in the back for a vegetable garden, you’re ready for a date.

If you think seed catalogs and Birds and Blooms are erotic reading, you may be dating.

If you think taking the grandchildren fishing and camping is better than Disneyland, you’re probably dating.  If you’ve already bought them their own equipment and they beg to go again, you’re in love.

If you have your backpack and fanny pack loaded with gear and ready for an outing, you’re in dating mode, and if you find your closet has multiples of hiking and birding vests, or the pockets are full of your volunteer badges, then you may be in love.  If they’re in use often, you are for sure in love.

If you wake up on a spring Sunday morning and find your butt and thigh muscles sore from gardening, you just had a date.  If you look down at your sandaled feet in church and realize you missed the mud between your toes in the shower, you may be in love.

And then of course, if you find yourself growing so much produce that you have to share it, find yourself in the middle of a community garden, a scout group or a tour group, you may be out-of-control in love.  Don’t you love the people who are so crazy about fishing or boating, butterfly hunts, roses or spelunking that they can’t stop talking about it!

Well, you get my drift, and the great thing about being in love is the feeling of excitement and fullness that you get from nothing else.  You feel you just have to share it and write it and live it each day.  Darn if it doesn’t feel ever so much like passion. 

The very best thing about being in love with the earth is that you can be so anywhere you are at any time.  You don’t have to own a farm or a mountain cabin.  God was good enough to put earth right in front of us every morning.  I hope you’re loving it today.  I know I am.