A letter to the earth produced during a workshop that launched a local Culture Declares Emergency hub in my hometown of Ilkley. I encourage anyone reading this to have a go at writing their own letter to the earth, and recommend getting a copy of the Letters to the Earth book for inspiration. The climate and ecological emergency is also a cultural crisis. A failure of imagination. Writing a letter is a small, but powerful way you can engage creatively with these issues.
I feel so blessed to know you.
To have felt the warm kiss of your sun on my face. The gentle caress of your breeze. The solidity of your ground beneath my feet.
To have heard the chirping melodies of birdsong, the gurgle of your streams and the soothing crash of your waves.
To have smelt the fresh, earthy scent of your forest.
And tasted your crisp, clean, life-giving water. A true nectar from the gods. From you.
Your complexity, diversity and abundance is astounding.
I love admiring your rolling hills and the towering peaks of your mountains.
I love the sparkle of your sunlight on a frosty winters morning.
And the colourful performance of your trees in Autumn.
You teach me that change is the only constant. Your cycles and seasons are mesmerising.
I have so many memories of magical moments spent in your embrace.
You shaped me, fed me, clothed me. So generous and bountiful.
So full of surprises. Of infinite, untamable possibility.
Although these days I fear you have changed too much.
Changed because of me. Because of us. Our relationship to you.
I'm sorry, I know we have abused you. Neglected you. Forgotten you.
Too bewitched by our technologies and stories of self-importance.
Trapped within systems and structures of extraction and competition. Fear and greed.
You have been so patient. So forgiving.
Your resilience and capacity for regeneration is miraculous.
I take solace in that.
You will endure, life will find a way.
It is our relationship with you that is in jeopardy.
Ours and much of the web of interconnected relationships that make up life within your protective arms.
Life that makes you special. Unique. A blue jewel in an endless sea of darkness.
A place we can call home.
All collateral damage of our cowardice and contempt.
I fear I won't recognise you tomorrow.
I fear my children and the generations that come after me will not know you as I have.
Just as I only know of my grandparents world through fleeting recollections.
So much lost already.
I hope there is still time to repair our relationship.
We must learn the meaning of enough.
We must work to infuse our intersubjectivity with deep time.
Be accountable to ourselves, to each other and to you.
It is time we treated the world and its ecologies as our collective heritage.
Time to take the rights and duties that that entails seriously.
Time to trust our compassion, creativity and imagination to chart a course towards more caring futures.
Futures we would be proud to call home.
Proud to show our children.
I love and cherish every moment we have together.
Please don't let it be too late.
A loving human, on behalf of humanity.