My Earth Mama

In the age of Covid, I find myself wishing we wouldn’t use this time to get more digital, but rather to get more earthy.

I’ve started to wonder: since when, and why, has outdoor and hands-on work fallen so out of fashion, while staring at a screen while sedentary for hours has become so hip and savvy?

Here is my mama, an apple picker and fruit tree pruner for over 45 years now. At 75, she just finished yet another winter/spring pruning season up on the ladders. Imagine this: her work wasn’t impacted by Covid.

They say it’s indoors that we have to worry most about viral spread. And I think we all know that exercise, fresh air, and outdoor activity is necessary for our health.

I know for myself this time raises a host of questions, not the least of which is: how can I reconcile my earthy devotions with my life work? How can the two become a bit more unified?

While I diverged from my mama’s path somewhere in my adolescence, in search of something “cooler” and more “civilized,“ It didn’t take long to realize that she was actually way cooler than anything or anyone I had seen before. I’ve been aiming to be even half as cool as her for decades now.

I began earnestly earthing in my 20s – first simply by getting out into the wild places where I could feel sane again, and even more at home.

…And then something else quietly began knocking at my subconscious: “Tend the earth. Make a devotion, a daily devotion, of somehow caring for her,” it whispered…

Since then I’ve begun learning how to grow gardens, how to wildcraft ethically, how to walk more gently in my everyday actions. I’ve learned many native plants and animals in the myriad places I’ve traveled or lived, and consider them as much a part of my society as the humans I come in contact with.

I still have questions: how can I be of even greater service in helping rehabilitate this planet? How can we re-habitate this planet in harmonious reciprocity?

With these questions in mind, I continue my simple daily practices, interacting, touching, caring for the land, even my teeny tiny temporary plot. Perhaps more will come, as I would love to be an inspiration as many others are to me, especially my earth mama.


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