Gifts from the Earth (for Earth Day)

by Belinda Munoz on April 16, 2012

The earth, in its most natural state, has a way of filling our senses, hearts and souls like nothing else can.

My appreciation and awe of the earth as a source of life and wisdom deepened as soon as I located myself in the continuum of the living, the dying and the reborn — when I first became a mother. I became piercingly aware that nothing exists alone, ripple-less or without significance, and to act as though the earth is indifferent to our existence, thoughts and actions is, at the very least, foolish.

Over the years, nature has played an increasingly significant part in my son’s early years. This past week, we covered as much ground as we could within a small radius from home. Following are seven gifts (out of numerous!) for sharing, with plenty more to go around. I’ve indulged myself in several forms of short poetry to describe:


bolinas view 04 12

Breathtaking scene unfolds as
Earth’s sea and sky emerge from haze.
Artistry in shades of blue mixed with
Undertones of green, gray
Turns heads, hearts –
Yearning to clench clouds.


From oceans to mountains to valleys, the earth’s natural facets embody timeless beauty and picture-perfect panorama. Her come-as-you-are appeal speaks to all of us and needs no enhancement.


Bolinas white flower 04 12

warmed by spring’s breath
birds sing, blossoms abloom
rays of light tumble from sky ’til
leaves fall.


What better way to learn impermanence than through the seasons of the earth? There is a time for everything and whether this unflagging truth elicits dread or anticipation, each unfolding season teaches us the value of the past, the present and the future.


We are bound
by hunger and thirst.
Earth’s harvest
offers us
more than we need to survive.
As we share, we thrive.


We celebrate life with food and drink and company. Fortunately for us, the world produces enough food to feed everyone. Despite various human-induced causes of hunger and thirst, the land and seas have replenished their supplies for as long as the soil is fertile and the waters are clean. May our children and their children continue to be nourished from the earth.


from within,
life-giving breath
permeates being
as I bear witness to
the magnificent beauty
of redwoods, mountains, waterfalls.
Amidst such majestic surroundings,
love rules, life thrives, birds sing, peace reigns, light shines.


Words really do not do justice to the endless inspiration that the earth offers. Get out there when you can and see for yourself.


Bolinas colorful
weary weekday morn
warm winds hug the blues away
soggy spirit shifts


Much of what ails us can be healed from the earth. A healthy diet, a good dose of outdoor exploration, a simple nature walk sprinkled with musings on miracles, can do wonders for our minds, hearts and bodies.


orange roots
A seedling takes root where the soil smiles.
Soon, she grows leaves, branches; blooms sprout.
Butterflies taste her sweetness
(with their feet, not their tongue).
Time makes her stronger,
top to bottom
in and out
built to


As a city-dweller, much of my waking hours are spent within and bouncing around human-made walls of all kinds. But my built-in sense of equilibrium sends me signals when it’s time to get out in the country where walls are few and far between. The earth’s ability to endure come what may teaches us that we, too, have the capacity to self-repair. Something as simple as sitting under a tree while looking at the stars brings much rejuvenation, thus strengthening our endurance for any weather.


bolinas wall of green

Nothing compares to the earth’s magnanimous capacity for forgiveness. The evidence of human-induced assault to our land and waters is unforgivable by any standards. We continue our abusive ways that blatantly disregard our responsibility to keep the earth, our collective home, clean.

If the earth were capable of grudge-holding and resentment, no floral arrangement or dinner reservations would win back her affection.

And yet, she continues to nurture, inspire and heal us.

Can this relationship go on? I invite you to create your own poetry about how the earth forgives.


What gifts have you received from the earth?
How can we reciprocate the earth’s generosity?

(berries image via flickr)

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cathy April 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Love your forgiveness haiku.

Gifts I’ve received – how about that super summer fog that moves in to smite the heat on a warm summer day? Or the gift of rain in the form of snow so that I can swish, swish, swish down a mountain? Or the warmth of the spring sun lifting the gray of winter?


2 Anisi from Santa Fe April 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm

From the earth I receive each breath I take! Thanks for reminding me Belinda. Absolutely marvelous post.


3 ayala April 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Love this! Just gorgeous :)


4 Kim Nelson April 18, 2012 at 6:57 am

This post is delightful, Belinda, highlighting not only the wonders of the world, but also your skills with form and diction. Lovely.


5 Kristen @ Motherese April 18, 2012 at 11:05 am

Belinda, this collection of photography, poetry, and reflection is gorgeous! I especially resonate to your thoughts on seasons as I wait for our Midwestern spring to edge out the traces of winter.


6 Sara April 18, 2012 at 1:11 pm

You never cease to amaze me with your talents. Each of these poems is a gift and I loved how you wove them into the post about Earth and what we get from her. I don’t have a poem to share right now. I just want to let your words and pictures rest inside me. Thank you:~)


7 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri April 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Love the sprinkled poetry throughout this post. Very creative and inspiring.


Leave a Comment

Previous post: Lunar Light

Next post: Change