SPIRITUAL ECOLOGY is a recognition that at the root of our present ecological crisis is a spiritual crisis, and that the essence of this spiritual crisis is a forgetfulness of the sacred nature of creation. Our present civilization has become separated from the story of the sacred that belongs to the Earth and our shared existence, that is at the foundation of life itself. As a result we have come to see the Earth as a resource to be exploited and polluted, existing to serve our materialist values, rather than a living being to revere and respect. The work of spiritual ecology is to reconnect with the sacred, so that we can return to a way of life that is in balance with the Earth. This little book weaves poems, images, and stories of the soul together with the greater story of the spiritual nature of the Earth, so that we can rejoin “the great conversation” with the rivers and the forests and the winds and the stars.
There was a time when the language of the Earth was the language of our daily lives, of planting and harvesting, sunshine and storms. The words of the sacred were stars and seeds, mountains and rivers. The soul and the seasons of nature moved together; they spoke the same mystery, the beauty that is within and around us. It was all as natural as breathing, not needing to be remembered because never forgotten. How could you forget the wind on your face or the songs of birds? How could you forget the rise and fall of the tide? These were not stories written in books but lived from morning until dusk, until dreamtime wove another texture into the firelight.
But now we live in a time of forgetting, when the deep resonance between our souls and the soul of the world has been covered over. So there is a pressing need to remember, to recognize this hidden lifeblood of all that exists, its rhythms and movement, and how it makes itself known to us in different ways. We need to relearn how the inner and outer mirror each other, and how to listen to this music, this underlying story. It is, after all, our own story, as well as the story of the Earth, our common home. We can no longer afford to live solely on the surface of our lives, but have to keep open a doorway to this deeper dimension. We need to reconnect the inner and outer worlds that are equally our home, and to be ourselves a connection between them, a place where the heart is always present.
In a recent book, Spiritual Ecology: 10 Practices to Reawaken the Sacred in Everyday Life, I gave some simple daily practices for this work of reconnection, including walking, cooking with love, simplicity, and others. The practices I developed over the many years of my own journey have called to me over the seasons of my own soul, speaking in different ways of the unfolding mystery of the sacred, within our psyche and in the world around. This present book includes a collection of poems that have spoken to me similarly. They are meditations on this lived connection, stepping stones to cross from the desolate shores of today’s materialistic wasteland, to a different way of being and living.
I offer this small book now, Seasons of the Sacred, as a remembrance of how the Earth moves in time, calling us into relationship. As we remember Her, we remember ourselves—who we really are on the level of the soul, repairing the frayed threads between the inner and outer, the part and the whole.
The word “sacred” runs through these pages like a mantra, because it is this essential quality that we vitally need to remember. Hopefully one day we can all recognize that everything we see and touch and feel is sacred, so that this primal note within life can sing again.