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The longer I live the more my mind dwells upon the beauty and wonder of the world. . . I have loved the feel of the grass under my feet, and the sound of the running streams by my side.  The hum of the wind in the treetops has always been good music to me, and the face of the fields has often comforted me more than the faces of men.
  I am in love with this world. . . I have tilled its soil, I have gathered its harvest, I have waited upon its seasons, and always have I reaped what I have sown.
  I have climbed its mountains, roamed its forests, sailed its waters, crossed its deserts, felt the sting if its frosts, the oppression of its heats, the drench of its rains, the fury of its winds, and always have beauty and joy waited upon my goings and comings.

John Burroughs


The people who are living on this planet need to break with the narrow concept of human liberation, and begin to see liberation as something that needs to be extended to the whole of the natural world.  What is needed is the liberation of all things that support life--the air, the waters, the trees--all the things which support the sacred web of life.



One of the hardest lessons we have to learn in this life, and one that many persons never learn, is to see the divine, the celestial, the pure in the common, the near at hand--to see that heaven lies about us here in this world.

John Burroughs


May our walking on earth be gentle as the union of the butterfly and the flower.

traditional Buddhist blessing


The planet earth has a life span of eight billion years, give or take a few million.
People have been around for approximately forty thousand years--a virtual
blink in the cosmos.  It is sad that we as a species are ravaging the natural
world so fast that we are jeopardizing our survival.  If we wipe ourselves out,
it would be the height of folly, but the earth will survive even us.  It will eventually
restore itself.  It might take a few thousand years, and it won't be just
as it was before, but its life is stronger than death.

Charlotte Davis Kasl


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We are living beyond our means.  As a people we have developed
a lifestyle that is draining the earth of its priceless and
irreplaceable resources without regard for the future
of our children and people all around the world.

Margaret Mead

When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves.

David Orr

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors;
we borrow it from our children.

Native American Proverb


Our earth is but a small star in a great universe.
Yet of it we can make, if we choose, a planet
unvexed by war, untroubled by hunger or fear, undivided
by senseless distinctions of race, color or theory.

Stephen Vincent Benet

There is enough for all.  The earth is a generous mother;
she will provide in plentiful abundance food for all her
children if they will but cultivate her soil in justice and in peace.

Bourke Coekran

My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be
through Earth's loveliness.



You must bind up any wounds you give the earth and you must feed her to
replace what you take from her.  Every gift she gives, every tree, every stalk
of grain, costs her.  Only if you repay your debts will she continue to provide.

Morgan Llywelyn


How far must suffering and misery go before we see that even
in the day of vast cities and powerful machines, the good earth is
our mother and that if we destroy her, we destroy ourselves?

Paul Bigelow Sears


To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster
its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.

Wendell Berry


Being born as humans to this earth is a very sacred trust.  We have a
sacred responsibility because of the special gift we have, which is beyond
the fine gifts of the plant life, the fish, the woodlands, the birds,
and all the other living things on earth.  We are able to take care of them.

Audrey Shenandoah


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Leafing idly through The Home Planet, I stop at a picture
of Earth floating against the black velvet of space.
Africa and Europe are visible under swirling white clouds,
but the predominant color is blue.  This was the one
picture from the Apollo missions that told the whole
story--how small the planet is in the vast sprawl
of space, how fragile its environments are.
Seen from space, Earth has no national borders,
no military zones, no visible fences.  Quite the
opposite.  You can see how storm systems swirling
above a continent may well affect the grain yield
half a world away.  The entire atmosphere of the
planet--all the air we breathe, all the sky we
fly through, even the ozone layer--is visible as
the thinnest rind.  The picture eloquently
reminds one that Earth is a single organism.

Diane Ackerman


If the Earth does grow inhospitable
toward human presence, it is primarily
because we have lost our sense of
courtesy toward the Earth and its
inhabitants, our sense of gratitude,
our willingness to recognize the
sacred character of habitat, our
capacity for the awesome, for
the numinous quality of
every earthly reality.

Thomas Berry

Earth teach me stillness
   as the grasses are stilled with light.
Earth teach me suffering
   as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility
   as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring
   as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage
   as the tree which stands all alone.
Earth teach me limitation
   as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom
   as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation
   as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration
   as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself
   as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness
   as dry fields weep with rain.

Ute prayer
Who is our neighbor:  the Samaritan?  the outcast?  the enemy?  Yes, yes,
of course.  But it is also the whale, the dolphin, and the rain forest.  Our neighbor
is the entire community of life, the entire universe.  We must love it all as ourselves.

Brian Patrick

Planet earth is my home, and I am committed to its care.  In gratitude,
I acknowledge the gift I’ve been given and accept my responsibility
to care for it.  The earth and all its bounty are divinely created and
sustained.  Deeply grateful for both bounty and balance, I realize that
planet earth is a gift from God for all people of the world—in
the past, now, and for generations to come.


I do not believe that our relationship to the earth is liable to change for
the better until it gets catastrophically worse.  Our record indicates that
we can walk with our eyes wide open straight into sheer destruction if
there is a profit on the way--and that seems to me to be what we are
doing now.  I have no great expectation that human cussedness will
somehow be quickly modified and turned into generosity or that humanity's
care of the earth will improve much.
But I do go around planting trees on the campus.

Joseph A. Sittler
Grace Notes and Other Fragments
Articles and book excerpts on earth:

A Supposed Letter from Chief Seattle


It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again
to the earth and in contemplation of her beauties
to know the sense of wonder and humility.

Rachel Carson


To care for the living earth is to care for ourselves.



The earth has enough for every person's need,
but not for every person's greed.

Mohandas Gandhi


When you learn to take responsibility for yourselves, then you will
start taking responsibility for the planet.  The planet is being destroyed
by your abandonment of responsibility.  You assume that you own the planet.
And ownership confers upon you the right to do as you like.
You do not own this beautiful planet.  You are simply a guest here.

Leonard Jacobson



"Only if one loves this earth with unbending passion can one relieve
one's sadness," don Juan said.  "Warriors are always joyful because
their love is unalterable and their beloved, the earth, embraces them
and bestows upon them inconceivable gifts.  The sadness belongs only
to those who hate the very thing that gives shelter to their beings."
Don Juan again caressed the ground with tenderness.
"This lovely being, which is alive to its last recesses and understands
every feeling, soothed me, it cured me of my pains, and finally when
I had fully understood my love for it, it taught me freedom."

Carlos Castaneda


The grand show is eternal.  It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising.  Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.

John Muir


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People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle.  But I think the
real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth.
Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize:  a blue sky,
white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child--our own two eyes.
All is a miracle.

Thich Nhat Hanh

This we know.  The Earth does not belong to people; people belong to the
Earth.  This we know.  All things are connected like blood which unites one
family.  All things are connected.  Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons
and daughters of the Earth.  People did not weave the web of life; we are
merely strands in it.  Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.

attributed to Chief Seattle