With temperatures about freezing for the first time in months, I went on a walkabout today on the land I live with. Winter’s stay was long and harsh this year and I knew winter’s damage would be compounded by the damage of hungry deer looking to stay alive with 4 feet of snow on the ground.
Splintered branches, young pines snapped in half, sides of young hemlocks nibbled mostly away, and cracked trunks of bushes whose blooms bring joy to my life, were sights greeting me as I walked about in the warming sun of April. I sighed as I tagged the trees and bushes needing tending, reminded again of the circle of life.
When I first become the steward of the land I live with, winter’s damage saddened me. I love trees and after a heavy snowfall, take my broom out to brush off branches bending almost in half with snow weight. I became more comfortable with pruning and cutting off the damaged parts my tree companions after learning the cost of damaged limbs to the health of the rest of the tree. I learned to honor my response-ability to not only nurture my beloved green companions, but to also make the sometimes uncomfortable decisions of what dies so that the rest of the tree may live.
Walking as a Goddess on Earth honors the mutual relationship we humans have with the other forms of life on Earth. Whether making the sometimes heart-wrenching choices for our beloved animal companions or insisting on a quality of life for what nourishes us as food, we are called to honor our power in the circle of life with awareness and care. And when we honor the sacred trust of our power as human beings, we begin to honor how our everyday choices-even the ones we call small- impact in a large way the other life that serves, nurtures, and bring joy to us in our walking as a Goddess on the Earth.