I saw a bumper sticker on the back of a Honda today that read:
Love Your Mother
Behind the message was a picture of the earth - meaning love Mother Earth. I smiled and then thought: I'm more of a Daddy's girl myself.
I love the earth, but I don't call her my Mother. She didn't give birth to me. I am not related to her. The molecules of my ancestors didn't roll out of her warm primordial womb, fuse magically into a single cell that then divides and multiplies into a slime ball that heads off to college to become a slightly more complex slime ball, which eventually, after many years of depending on Mother Earth and Big Papa Bang, graduates into a bent over, ape-like creature that grunts and hunts for something to bring to the 5 o'clock campfire dinner to share with the rest of the hairy, inarticulate group. True, some days, I can only straighten up half way after a really good workout or a bad lift of the Sparklett's bottle, but still, YOU might call the earth Mama, but not me.
This is the bumper sticker I would put on my car:
So what does "Teacher Earth" teach me?
All about my Father.
I learn that He is creative, imaginative, has a sense of humor and a tender heart. Take the peacock, for example. Check out the colorful fan-like tail, the soft, dark eyes, the crazy early morning squawk that makes sleeping in a tent impossible. I can tell that my Father's personality is as faceted as that exotic bird's tail feathers. Even if you or I believe He created just a few birds back "In the beginning" (Like a sparrow and a duck?) and all the rest of the birds we see today evolved from those two species, you & I would still have to be amazed that their DNA could combine and mutate until we have a hummingbird and a bald eagle sharing air space.
Teacher Earth also teaches me that my Father believes in natural consequences and has a penchant for order over chaos. He made it so that we can't greedily over farm the land he has given us without causing a horrible dust bowl like we did in the Great Plains in the 1930's forcing us to examine our motives and methods. He made sure some animals eat their young, and while that seems barbaric to us humans, He knew that it would be a necessary part of keeping certain creatures from overpopulating or as I found out in a bit of research (i.e. Google), eating their babies makes parents fat and happy for further reproduction. On a personal note, I can say I am very glad that my Father decided to make Wolf Spiders cannibalistic. My hope is the mosquito will discover its children make great snacks before my next trip to Cape Cod. It could happen. Unless it throws off the balance of things to have mosquitoes die young. My Father is all for survival of the species and this process is highly ordered. He wants us to thrive along with Teacher Earth. He says "Go forth and multiply!" (Genesis 9:7) Thanks to this verse, most Christians (except maybe the Baptists I grew up with!) believe He is all for reproduction, as long as the man, to quote the contemporary scholar Beyonce - puts a ring on it. (For those of you who didn't see the Superbowl half time show, the "it" in this sentence refers to a woman's ring finger.)
You know what else Teacher Earth teaches me?
That my Father understands and loves me. He knew I would need air, light, water, food and other people to survive. Isn't it amazing how Teacher Earth so perfectly supports living, and not just living, but enjoyable living? He knew I would need something to make bad days bearable so he made dogs and chocolate. Thank you, Father. If I had to hole up with a peacock and a vanilla wafer after a hard day at work, I'd be a miserable soul.
So Teacher Earth, I do love you.
Just don't be offended if I love Daddy more.
-Hope Horner, 2013
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