#1000Speak: Nurturing the Earth + Flash Fiction

nurturenature

Welcome back for another edition of the 1000 Speak for Compassion movement. This month’s theme is nurturing. Since Earth Day is just a few days away, my topic is nurturing the Earth or nature. If you’d like to read posts by other bloggers, just go here.

1000 Voices Speak For Compassion #1000SpeakNurturing the Earth

Imagine living in a home that is no longer habitable. That is what we are doing to the Earth. It is becoming a place where fewer and fewer plants and animals can survive and thrive. Animals are going extinct. There are water shortages. Weather anomalies have become the norm. Soon, even humans will have a harder time surviving.

We can stop this. We have the power to save the Earth and all life on it.

We don’t even have to sacrifice much for all of life to thrive and for future generations to enjoy this planet just as we have done. I would like my grandchildren to see the beauty and wonder of the Earth. Wouldn’t you?

Here’s a few simple things we can all do.

Spend time in nature. Connecting to nature and appreciating her beauty will make all the other steps easier to do. If you know what you are saving, you’ll remember why you want to do it in the first place. Go for walks in the local park. Take trips to the local nature preserve. Do some bird watching. Go to the botanic gardens or arboretum, where you can marvel at the beauty and wonder that is nature. Go hiking, kayaking, or whatever forms of activities in nature you have available to you. Express deep gratitude for all that mother Earth has provided you.

Use less water. Take shorter showers. Turn off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth or washing dishes. Buy eco-friendly electronics, such as dishwasher and washing machine, that use less water. If you have a garden, water only in the mornings and evenings when it is cooler and less water will evaporate. If you can, install systems for saving and reusing water in your home. My favorite solution is the Earthship Home.

Use more environment-friendly modes of transport. Ditch that gas guzzler and ride a bike or hybrid bus. Riding a bike or walking are not only great for the planet, they’re also great for your body. It’s like a 2 for 1 sale.

Eat less meat or (better yet) stop eating meat altogether. If you do nothing else, this one will actually have the biggest impact. I don’t think I have to tell anyone that overall, western society consumes more meat per person than 50, 70, or 100 years ago. Decreased consumption of animal products leads to water conservation, soil preservation, less pollution, and saves trees and the rainforest.

In this day and age, we don’t need meat to survive. We have a bounty of plant products that are healthier for us AND the environment. It is easier than ever to ditch meat. You can start by participating in Meat-free Mondays. Then, you can not eat meat two or three days a week. Can’t imagine life without meat? At least ditch beef and dairy, as cattle has the biggest impact on the environment.

 

Want to join the movement? There’s still time to join this month’s linky. Here’s some prompts to get you started.

 

And this takes us to fiction. Two weeks ago, I responded to Charli Mills’ prompt about the Earth turning brown and wrote about a ravaged and drying Earth and a woman who could only think of her roses. You can read that story here. Last week, we saw that despite the conditions, human life continued. Click here to read. The story continues below.

 

The Ceremony (2015)

 

The Ceremony

I’d say the ceremony had begun as usual, but there was no usual anymore. We all met in the abandoned concert building we’d been working hard for several weeks to restore best we could. The heat was merciless to the wood, but the paint made it look almost new. When Daniel and the rest of our neighbors arrived, the ceremony began.

Alan, our next door neighbor, got up on stage and spoke. “Welcome to our new community center. This is where anyone can come for advice and support, where we will divvy rations, and we will meet every week.”

 

This flash fiction was written for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. This is a continuation of the story from earlier flashes, which started with The Rose Garden and then continued into Beginnings.

 

April 15, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about nurturing a neighborly relationship. It can be a next-door neighbor, a neighborhood critter or a neighborly place like a schoolhouse or community garden. Show what nurturing looks like for characters or places involved.
Respond by April 21, 2015 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

 

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16 thoughts on “#1000Speak: Nurturing the Earth + Flash Fiction

  1. This is great, Ula. It is definitely important to look after the Earth. I like the simple ways you have described that people can begin to do so.
    I love your flash. When we have a sense of community, a sense of connection, we are more likely to look after each other and the earth!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First off – I think being out in nature just makes me – people generally – happier. So I hope to spend a lot of time outside this summer with the family enjoying it. With good weather the girls and I did a week of yard work last week and we are working on bike skills with my 5-year-old presently. We might also try backyard camping this summer…

    Biking to work isn’t currently an option with two young kids and daycare pickup – we need the car seats and the time/distance doesn’t work – but agreed generally. I try to walk them (and me) as many places as I can. I remember one of my pre-kid frustrations was that my husband and I quickly worked out it was WAY CHEAPER to drive to work than to bus (eg: two bus passes vs. one parking space = no contest). There’s something wrong with those incentives!

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Louise, it’s good you’re thinking about it all. You’ll find solutions that work for you.

      We tried backyard camping when my son was 4. I recommend it.

      Like

  3. If you haven’t yet come across Aldo Leopold, look for his book “A Sand County Almanac.” There’s an essay in the back called “Land Ethics.” He wrote this in 1949. And certainly, as you go back in history, reading literature and poetry, we find so much strength in your call to get out with nature. Your flash feels like the community could tip either way — survival or revival. Truly, we make that choice every day yet we buy into the illusions of normalcy. In your flash, they’ve been stripped away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hadn’t heard of Aldo Leopold, but I’ve already found the essay on Google, so I’ll read it tonight. Thanks.

      I like your idea that it could tip either way, and you’re right it could. I haven’t thought about what next, but I’ve really enjoyed building this community in my head, so who knows maybe I’ll explore further.

      Funny that you say we buy into illusions of normalcy, because I was just thinking today how I feel a need to shake things up and find myself on unsteady ground once again in my life. I can only stand that illusion for a while. But I am not most people, I think.

      Most creatives are restless to some extent and question what is being accepted as “truth” and “normal.” That’s what makes us able to do what we do. Our job (in my opinion) is to mirror back (sometimes it’s a fun house mirror).

      I read today some writer’s quote (I don’t remember who) that writing is the most fun play humans invented. I quite agree.

      Well, I went off on a tangent. Didn’t I?

      Thank you for your wonderful comments as always.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad you found Leopold’s essay online! And yes, creatives are restless and less accepting of normative values. We want to expose the “wizard” behind the curtain because we believe Oz is beautiful without his interference and expectation that we do as we are told. We see so much more — a whole world, a little pond. And the universe that exists in both. I’m thoroughly enjoying your poetry, too. It’s so beautiful and inviting to see the shifts in perception of life.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Your point about spending time in nature so you know what you are saving is a really good one. I hadn’t thought about it quite like that before, but if we spend all our lives in cities perhaps it’s easy to forget to nurture the earth.
    Thanks for an thought-provoking read and for being part of #1000Speak!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed the prelude to your flash immensely. We certainly do have to nurture the earth if it is to be a place to be able to be lived in, in the future. Great hints. The first photo shows a world we want to protect. The
    second a world in disrepair which goes so well with your flash which gives hope. Even if it is just a sense of community until doomsday there is that hope. Well done

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: #1000Speak: Can I Get Some Compassion? I’ve Just About Ran Out | confessions of a broccoli addict

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