Teacher Earth

They will not hurt or destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

– Isaiah 11: 9

But, waters don’t cover the sea.
The salty water is the sea.
So is the earth the knowledge of the Lord, in a way?

The seasons; the turning.
The cycles of waiting, birth, life, death, waiting again.
Learning the patterns,
knowing when to plant and when to reap,
knowing when work will be fruitless and rest is required.
Times of riotous growth and long stretches of quiet.
Microscopic activity we can’t see
but which is happening all the time nonetheless.

Where I live, the earth is quiet.
The leaves have fallen but there hasn’t been any snow yet.
If there is an unusually warm day,
it can almost smell like spring for a minute,
but we all know better.
It gets dark very early in the afternoon.
Evenings feel long.
Cozy, if you don’t mind that kind of thing.
Desolate if you do.

May the earth help teach us what we need to learn –
that non-stop productivity is not the way,
that rest is vital,
that now is a perfect time
to learn
to wait.


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