"Land, then, is not merely soil; it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants, and animals. Food chains are the living channels which conduct energy upward; death and decay return it to the soil."
(A Sand County Almanac)
By Dale Olen
The birth of life runs deep under the Christmas story. Jesus born in a manger of Bethlehem rises up as a sign celebrating the creation and continuation of life on Earth.
What we remember today is not something that occurred a couple thousand years ago, but a shrouded, mysterious event that sprung up nearly four billion years ago probably in a thermal vent on an ocean floor. That vent was the manger where life broke into Earth.
We experience the everlasting evolution and change of this life-bursting journey. Life on this planet has grown and persisted in every way. And almost always it occurs when one element of Earth connects to, crashes into, and relates to another.
New and beautiful aspects of Earth are joining together to make new life forms. Mountains from the Himalayas to the South American Andes continue to grow as tectonic plates move toward each other, rub against, subduct, pull, and drive the mountains to greater heights. Those mountains generate heat and steam, birthing hot springs, geysers, and volcanoes.
Weather and wind stimulates and gives life to waters and moves these living waters through ocean currents, freezing and melting glaciers, and shoving water downhill over rocks and cliffs – moving water lives.
Bees, butterflies, and humming birds touch flowers bringing life-giving pollen to plants bursting into life. Fish, animals, birds all relate and produce new life in their own mangers of water holes, under trees, and on branches of elms and oaks.
Then there are people. We relate and sooner or later, we bring forth new life and build our mangers and keep giving life to our children and grandchildren. No wonder Christmas is a family event. The family is our manger where we grow and continue the life of Earth.
Merry Earth Day to each of you!