Near as I can tell life on planet Earth is mostly about taking care. Taking care of our families. Taking care of our friends. Taking care of the work that we take responsibility for. Taking care of our homes, taking care of our possessions, our animals, our gardens, our plants, our cars, our water, our air, our land. Our churches, our communities, our cities, our roads, our poor, our sick, our wounded, our frail and elderly.
Taking care of ourselves. Taking care of ourselves physically. Taking care of ourselves mentally. Taking care of ourselves emotionally. And taking care of ourselves spiritually. Yep, I’d say that pretty much covers life on our planet for we human beings, and it certainly reflects my experience!
Now how we go about that is endless in its possibilities. As varied as the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the plants in the forest. And notice they are all taking care as well.
If I ask myself what is the central principle behind this endless and perpetual taking care, I’d have to say life itself. Life reaching towards life. Life ensuring life continues. That essentially is the drive behind it all, is it not? Each and every living thing on planet Earth is hardwired for doing well, for keeping the whole thing going, for perpetuating life. The lengths various species go to ensure their sticking around boggles the mind. As we are caught up in our own individual dramas and the illusions (and grandeurs) of our sense of separation, it is easy (and convenient) to forget what the essential driving force behind all this is. Truly there are beings walking planet Earth thinking it was about them. “What? It’s not about me?” Well, it is. You and over six billion other people and a several billion other species. It is humbling to contemplate when we take the time. And the distorted ways in which some of us choose to take care of ourselves and others are absolute abominations, there is no doubt. But often underneath the aberration one could find this slender thread of life’s longing at the core, hard as that might seem. What would our lives look like if we consciously brought the value of taking care, of nurturing to the fore? How would aligning ourselves with that single focus impact our lives and the lives of others? If we acknowledged fully our intrinsic programming to care and nurture for all that came within our view, our path, our neighborhood, our own small radar, what impact would that accumulative shift have on our larger reality? Jesus said to love one another. Was that not the same?
By Kathryn Hall
This is an excerpt from Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden by Kathryn Hall. Please visit www.plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com