I was never a city person; although I was born in a big city, I moved as a baby and lived in a small farm for all my childhood and most of my teenage years. For this reason, I always had a good relationship with nature. However, I was not as conscientious as I am today, for at that time I did not know other life. We produced almost no trash since the remains of fruits and vegetables were used to feed the chickens and the rest of the organic trash was thrown at the compost, our water was taken directly from a spring in the property and my father planted trees everywhere.
I came to the big city to study and I have been living here for twenty years now. As I started my Dedicant Path and the honor of the Earth and the spirits of the land, I got connected with those days again. I started to be more critical about my own life. I decided I would take the responsibility for things I do and consume, so I stop eating anything that contains transgenic food, I also studied about companies and environmental impacts and decided I would not buy from any factory that promoted cruelty to animals and those ones that polluted the environment or were unethical with nature. I also avoid using plastic bags carrying my own textile ones to the market. There are series of little things that I do, like; I am trying to buy only from local and organic business, and as I changed my own life to work with crafts and jewelry, I began to make my own clothes and aim in a future to be able to produce the textiles too.
My city does recycling, so I separate my trash carefully to be collected on the right days. I also started to grow some plants. Fortunately, my apartment is in a building with a garden, and they allow us to grow plants in it, so we have dozens of trees in vases in the garden and sometimes we take them to be planted in a park. Last year I established a new practice at my Protogrove. We do our rituals in a public park, so we started to plant at least two trees after the rites are finished as a present to the land.
I know I can improve much more my goal to reduce my impact on the environment, and I am always looking for new ways to do it. This year my husband and I are planning to move to a little croft, and if this happen like we want, we will start to do compost, collect rain water, have a fruits grove and a vegetable garden, have some chickens and maybe some cows and ewes.
I believe that to honor the Earth is not only about practicing. Although it is a huge part of it, it is also about thinking, knowledge and spiritual connection. When I was a little girl, one of my teachers gave my class a task: to collect leaves and write about their trees. It was on the first day of school and I worked hard to know every tree I had in my family’s land. I got an A+ with honors. From that year on, I started to be curious about every tree, bird and insect I see. To me this is a way to show respect for the Earth, for if you like someone you want to know him/her, so why it is any different with nature.
I think that most of all, to be bound with nature is to feel as part of it. To honor the Earth and the spirits of the land in rituals is an intense feeling when you do your part to show respect in your daily life. We are connected to the nature in every breath we take, but our attitudes are what forges our true link with its spiritual level. I try to teach it to every person I meet, and especially to the people of my Protogrove, and I believe that the nature around us answers us with little signs. For example, every time we go to the park where we do our rites we have a local animal, usually a bird, and very often a falcon or a crane, to welcome us as we arrive. There is also a tree in the beginning of the park with a hole in a form of a door with a Pycnoporus sanguineus, a kind of fungus in the form of an ear that is just at the bottom of the hole, like a little terrace. I always keep some food from the offerings to the fairy/Sidh that lives there, and after every ritual I go to the tree and honor he/she as the owner of the park and thank it let us use his/her land. I call him/her the sovereign of that land and give to him/her this gift as a form to thank for the hospitality.
The connection with the spirits of the land and with the Earth is something very easy, but it requires a lot of respect and will to make choices to honor them.