All days start similarly:
sun rising in the East
light stretching westward.
Humanly speaking, though, there’s variation:
some days carry cause for thanksgiving;
other days unfurl banners of lament;
one hour can release a crisis;
a single minute can hold space for a beautiful joy.
All the while that rich soil beneath our feet
carries on its work of renewal, providing
the space for roots to spread
the home for microbes to get busy
a fertile haven for worms to squirm together
so that underneath the thanks, lamenting,
crises and joy this earth moves on
in its project of re-creation, enjoying
its work, its art, its music
with that deep satisfaction
of a new lamb feeding from its mother
of a gliding albatross as she soars
of a young child reading for enjoyment.
The earth, satisfied late in the day,
lets the sun go down in the West …
remaining happy, as it were, to do it all again.
Re-reading this poem’s third stanza made me think with gratitude for my sister Anne and her thesis work on soil, microbes, and ethical relationships to such. Anne has recently published an article in Environmental Humanities, “Ethical Acknowledgment of Soil Ecosystem Integrity amid Agricultural Production in Australia” which she describes as ‘focusing on a type of farming called “Pasture Cropping” and how it respects the forms and capabilities of soil.’ See the open access article here https://read.dukeupress.edu/environmental-humanities/article/12/1/267/165259/Ethical-Acknowledgment-of-Soil-Ecosystem-Integrity