August | Heirs to the Earth

The following resources were gratefully shared at the OneLight Gathering on Friday 11th August 2017 at London's monthly Interfaith Ceremony, generously hosted at Notting Hill's Essex Unitarian Church.

READINGS

Our true home is in the present moment.
To live in the present moment is a miracle.
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment,
to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.
Peace is all around us - 
in the world and in nature - 
and within us - 
in our bodies and our spirits.
Once we learn to touch this peace,
we will be healed and transformed.
It is not a matter of faith;
it is a matter of practice.

- Thich Nhat Hanh 


Green Gulch Farm
by Wendy Johnson

Plants and animals in the Garden,
We welcome you - we invite you in - we ask your
         forgiveness and your understanding. Listen as we
         invoke your names, as we also listen for you:
Little sparrows, quail, robins and house finches who
         have died in our strawberry nets;
Young Cooper’s Hawk who flew into our sweet pea
         trellis and broke your neck;
Numerous orange-bellied newts who died by our
         shears, in our irrigations pipes, by our cars, and
         by our feet;
Slugs and Snails whom we have pursued for years,
         feeding you to the ducks, crushing you,
         trapping you, picking you off and tossing you
         over our fences;
Gophers and moles, trapped and scorned by us, and
         also watched with love, admiration, and awe
         for your one-mindedness;
Sowbugs, spitbugs, earwigs, flea beetles, woolly
         aphids, rose-suckers, cutworms, millipedes
         and other insects whom we have lured and
         stopped;
Snakes and moths who have been caught in our water
         system and killed by our mowers;
Families of mice who have died in irrigation pipes, by
         electricity in our pump box, and by predators
         while nesting in our greenhouses;
Manure worms and earthworms, severed by spades,
         and numerous microscopic lifeforms in our
         compost system who have been burned by
         sunlight;
Feral cats and raccoons whom we’ve steadily chased
         from the garden;
Rats whom we poisoned and trapped and drowned.
         Deer, chased at dawn and at midnight, routed by
         dogs, by farmers, by fences and numerous
         barriers;
Plants: coloured lettuces, young broccoli, ripe
         strawberries and sweet apples, all of you who
         have lured the animals to your sides, and all
         plants we have shunned; poison hemlock,
         pigweed, bindweed, stinging nettle, bull
         thistle;
We cal up plants we have removed by dividing you
         and separating you, and deciding you no
         longer grow well here;
We invoke you and thank you and continue to learn
         from you. We dedicate this ceremony to you. We
         will continue to practice with you and for you.


Closing Prayer

Thank you, Earth, for living sustenance;
for allowing us to experience physical life.

We bow to the ancestors who carved pathways
of survival through the wilderness.

With gratitude for opportunities, we uphold
the present moment,
preciously cupped in our own palms.

We meet the
benevolence of Divine
Creativity with our active choices.

Because our thoughts and actions
shape the future we ask for
encouragement and inspiration.

As we share our planet with all of life,
may we make decisions that
grow from the heart of
Wisdom and respect.

We pray for our planet’s waters, air and soil, and for its diversity.
We pray for people in need;
for people who experience disaster and violence;
for those who have died and those who are born now.

We ask for healing for the wounds that come with
learning and growing together.

May we receive
the blessing of All That Is upon
our precious, beating hearts
and may our great Earth
be truly respected and blessed.