Cost of Conventional American Lawns
Amount of lawn in the United States: 40.5 million acres
Total amount of money spent on lawn care: $30 billion
Percent of residential water used outside: 30 to 60%
Amount of water used daily for residential irrigation: > 7 billion gallons
Amount of fertilizers used on lawns annually: 3 million tons
Amount of synthetic pesticides used on lawns annually: > 30 thousand tons
Ratio of pesticide use per acre by the average homeowner versus the average farmer: 10 to 1
Source: Statistically Speaking: Lawns by the Numbers
by Bill Chameides | July 25th, 2008
- Natural Landscaping at EPA’s Laboratory – www.epa.gov/ne/lab/pdfs/LabLandscapeFactsheet.pdf
- Bormann, H. F., D. Balmori, and G. T. Geballe. Redesigning the American Lawn: A Search for Environmental Harmony, Second Edition. Yale University Press, New Haven. 2001.
My bones are mountains.
My tears, rushing rivers.
The earth’s crust is my skin.
Trees adorn my head.
The sun, moon, and stars
Are in my eyes.
The ether of the Universe is my breath.
Separateness is an illusion.
I am all things and all things are me.
Recently I hiked into a beautiful valley in the foothills west of Boulder, Colorado. It was so gorgeous that I decided to stop and sit on the east ridge for awhile. I found a big rock high on the ridge and sat surrounded by scraggly pine trees clinging to the rocks. And I could feel layer after layer of tension melt away as I sat in the afternoon sun.
As the sun dropped lower, I walked across the valley and sat under a huge old ponderosa pine on the west side of the valley. I closed my eyes and listened to the wind blowing through the grass; I felt so grateful to be in this beautiful place. The wind danced around me. Wind seemed thrilled to have one person listening and a little bit aware, if only a little.
I sat and day-dreamed about everything this valley has witnessed; dinosaurs roamed here billions of years ago when it was a swamp on the edge of an inland sea. Later the Arapaho tribe hunted and camped in the shelter of this valley. And now every weekend, thousands of people roam here in tennis shoes and hiking boots and flip flops. Many of the trails are eroding away from too much foot traffic. We risk destroying the valley we all love.
Personally I don’t believe that Mama Earth is in any real jeopardy, she will be just fine. Even though we pollute, misuse and mistreat Earth, she has proven powerful enough to shift and accommodate every change humans throw at her.
Our Earth will continue to flow and teem with life, despite our inept treatment of her. It is people who risk annihilation; it is people who need to be reminded how to live in nature’s flow. We act as if we believe we can rule over Mama Earth and bend her nature to our will, but history has proven that idea to be folly again and again. We mistreat Earth at our own peril.
We’re not killing our Earth. We’re killing ourselves.
“So, the world is fine. We don’t have to save the world—the world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about, is whether or not the world we live in, will be capable of sustaining us in it.”
Where is the moon tonight?
Is she up yet?
What aspect of herself is she showing?
These are the questions that come to mind when I gaze at the night sky. Maybe it’s because I’m female. The ancients claimed that all women are creatures of the moon. Or maybe it is because I was born in the early morning hours before dawn, just as the moon became full. And on that night many moons ago, the moon rose in the sign of Scorpio, the keeper of the night and the dark mysteries of life, death and rebirth. I am a moon baby.
For whatever reason, I have been fascinated by the moon for as long as I can remember. My Celtic ancestors used the cycles of the moon to track the passage of time. And I still do the same – in fact, it stuns me that the Gregorian calendar in use all over the world is not linked directly to the cyclic movements of the earth and moon. That’s why we have a silly Leap Year day every 4 years – we need to “correct” the errors in the Gregorian calendar! Whoever thought it was a good idea to ignore the cyclic movements of the sun and moon when creating a calendar?!
In every solar year (the time it takes mother earth to go all the way around our sun), the moon goes through 13 cycles. There are 13 lunar months in each year, not 12. And within each lunar cycle, the moon slowly shifts from the dark phase of a new moon, gradually revealing more and more of herself (waxing) until she is completely lit up at the full moon. Then Luna slowly wanes, showing less and less of herself in the night sky until she is dark and barely visible at all. When she enters this dark phase, her her rhythmic dance of light and dark begins all over again.
These cycles where the moon is constantly shifting and dancing with how much she reveals of herself seem quite female to me. There is nothing linear about the moon! And I find that women are typically more changeable and moody and rhythmic than men, whether we care to admit it or not.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance…”
~Ecclesiastes, King James Bible
Our ancestors planned their sacred rituals around the cycles of the moon; they knew that each moon phase holds a specific power. So, when the moon was fully revealed in her full moon state, the ancients celebrated and worshipped the divine feminine energies of birthing and completion. Even today, wise midwives plan their schedules, knowing that many, many babies are born when the full moon exerts her pull on pregnant wombs! Full moons are times of completion.
In contrast, when the moon is hidden from view in her new moon state, the ancients saw it as a potent time to plant the seeds for new projects and begin new ventures. Even the timing of farm planting and sowing was tied to the moon cycles in ancient times; not so silly when we realize that the waters and tides of planet earth feel the pull of the moon as well.
I love watching the moon go through her dance from dark to light and back to dark each month. I am definitely a moon baby! And I plan to continue my love affair with the rhythms and cycles of the moon until I leave this earth. It keeps me connected to the cycle of the seasons in a deep meaningful way.
The next time you want to start a new project, begin working on it during the dark phase of the new moon.
Ready to celebrate an accomplishment or rite of passage? Try holding your celebration during the full moon.
Synchronize with the rhythms of the moon and discover the potency of rhythmic organic timing.
Your Soul is infinite and formless; unbounded and free. AND for this lifetime, your Soul has chosen to inhabit a physical body here on this physical planet we call Earth. These physical structures define the boundaries of your Soul’s container for this lifetime.
The solid parts of your human body can foster flow or block it completely. Human structure is the container that holds your flow. Without any “solid” physical structure, your life on earth would be a liquid puddle of a life! So it is important to pay attention to not just your Soul, but also the earthy structured part of your human existence; the physical body that your Soul inhabits can make this life constricted and painful, or free and flowing.
The Earthy Miracle of You
Human bodies are walking, talking miracles. Seriously! Do you have ANY idea how astounding it is that you ever developed at all from a single cell into a living, breathing, billion-celled baby? Do you know how many things had to go right for you to end up here on Earth alive in that body of yours? I sometimes wonder why we are not all walking through life in complete and total awe of our miracle bodies.
Every day your body quietly performs miracle upon miracle just to keep you alive; your heart pumps blood to each of your muscles and organs For 24 hours a day, 7 days a week it never stops beating and serving you. You swallow a bite of food and your digestive tract breaks that sandwich down into energy and molecules that your body knows just how to use to repair itself and create new cells – a hundred acts of body maintenance happen without you ever having to consciously get involved. And every single minute you must breathe in air to stay alive. Your amazing lungs lovingly inhale that air, extract the oxygen and then pass it on to your bloodstream so that fresh oxygen gets delivered to each cell in your body.
Can you pause for a moment and focus on the fact you’re your body has been magically created and orchestrated by Spirit? You are a million miracles from head to toe. Take a deep breath in right now and pause long enough to realize how amazing it is that you ever came into form in the first place. A million things had to happen in perfect order for you to ever be conceived and created. And the Universe doesn’t waste that kind of time. You are not a mistake or a surprise or some kind of an oops! You are a miracle.
Your Soul energy chose to come into form on this planet at this time. And everything about you being here now is a miracle. Wrap your arms around yourself and give a little squeeze in honor of the miracle you truly are.
Get to know your outer landscape; Go outside and stand or sit. Look around. Is the terrain smooth sand or jagged rock or wet swamp? Is that rock beneath your feet or sand? Look around – Is the land where you are soggy and wet or dry as a bone? And does this place on Earth speak to you? What does Mama Earth have to share with you?
Connecting with Earth:
Connect with the earthy physical side of nature by sitting directly on rocks, dirt or grass. If you cannot get outside, lie on the solid floor in your home. Feel the stability and structure of elemental earth. Notice how calming and grounding earth is for your body. Imagine that you can absorb the calm grounded-ness of earth through every pore of your body. Breathe in and allow your body to become as stable and solid as rock; feel the solidity of your bones supporting your organs and muscles.
Allow the stability of ground to permeate every aspect of you with each breath. Drop your attention to the center of your belly as you breathe. As you connect with earth and find your physical center, radiate that calm stability out to the rest of your body, from head to toe. Flow with the stability of earth.
Go within – get to know your inner landscape, your physical body which is your “home” for this entire lifetime.
Is your body boney or soft?
Light or heavy?
What do you enjoy about your physical body?
What do you dislike?
Is your inner earth fluid and flexible or rigid and immovable?
How does your physical body feel right now; do you have any pain or discomfort?
What does your body want to say to you?