The day was quiet and calm. Our first farmer’s market was going really, really well. Lots of new faces, lots of folks to help, and it was nice being around our old farmers market vendor family. Then towards the end it happened. Usually microbursts come later in the season so this one certainly took us all by surprise. The familiar yelling and the words, “Hold on!” and “It’s coming!” at the market is the equivalent to “All Hands on Deck!”
If you are new to microbursts, they are invisible, highly volatile, mini tornados on the ground. They wind up, sometimes with dust and debris, but often without a sign until you see the first tent fly up in the air, weights or no. You can often hear it, it sounds like a train, but this one was quieter and more stealth than most. It picked up more tents slightly as folks held them down, vendors jumping to help others with theirs, and then it picked up speed and turned. Right towards us. We had two tents. Doug was on one side and I on the other. I had one hand on the tent and one on our shelves of medicines. A customer held onto the shelves as well. Our buckets were filled with large rocks and securely fastened to the tents. The back of the tents were attached to our van. I held on with all of my might but the microburst picked up our tent, and me. It carried me in the air until I hit the van, the leg of the tent caught under my skirt and cut and bruised my thigh, then released my hem and flew up and over the van, both tents and buckets, and rocks and debris flying away, crashing down into the street, narrowly missing two cars. The customer that held the shelves with me was shocked and scared as Doug came running over to help her with the large shelf. The smaller had flown off. Sample jars, cards, bags, product just gone. Broken, missing, blown away in parts of the city we may never know. The power of Mother Earth is astounding. If the van hadn’t stopped me I would have kept on flying with it. A ragdoll on this planet.
A few weeks ago I had another dream about her. The soil was loose and unassuming as it opened and sucked down entire towering trees. It is not improbable that that could happen.
We were walking through Castlewood Canyon on a trail that just opened for the season. As we turned a bend I heard something, saw something, so fast I could not comprehend but I suddenly felt like prey. My stomach went in knots, nerves, I held my breath. My eyes grew large, I tried to listen, I froze in place. But it was gone, or seemingly so, watching us as we finally passed by. We are not the top of any food chain.
Her name in Cherokee is Etsia Eloheno. She is known in other cultures as Gaia, Terra Mater, Maka Ina. I believe, from experience, that she is not viewed as a living being. In many major religions we are to not have any other “gods” and for some reason the earth gets viewed as such and we forget that she is a real, living being with destructive and life giving power and only focus on the Creator and forget about our mother. Every single thing on this planet has a spirit. Each rock, each tree, each animal, each of us. We are no greater than a rock on the path, than a dog on the street, than a tree growing tall. We are children lacking respect.
I have returned to the city and watch bags and bags…and bags of trash being thrown out in my apartment complex alone. Electricity, oil use, driving two blocks, modern conveniences, privilege, waste. More and more counties aren’t accepting recycling anymore because there is no money in it. We expose animals in factory farms, bastardize our crops to make genetically modified organisms, we pretend we are on the top of the food chain, that we are the rulers of the world. No religion or belief system will save us from the consequences of how we treat the Earth.
Let us walk quieter. Let us leave less foot print. Let’s take less. Let’s talk to trees and plants. Let’s acknowledge that we are but visitors and children. Let’s love her. She gives us medicine and food and places to play and everything we need to survive.
I highly recommend the book “Radical Simplicity” by Jim Merkel and to take more walks.