April 22, 2020

An open letter to Mother Earth

Dear Mother Earth,

I have fond memories of you and me. I remember the feeling of earth beneath my soles as I ran with the other kids — barefoot, carefree, happy.

Do you remember it, too?

What about the summer days I spent with my cousins? We played pretend and picked flowers and leaves from the garden. We imagined they were vegetables and cooked them in our miniature pots (we’re grateful for our lolas and mamas who bought those!). We usually mix water because who likes dry food, right? Certainly not our dolls! They will only be served with our signature dish made special with the neighbor’s foliage.

I was taught in school not to throw my trash in the streets. I always did since then, sometimes coming home with pockets full of candy wrappers. But there were a few times that I might have not bothered to put them in the bin. I’m sorry.

Honestly, I’m amazed by you. I don’t always say it but I figure you’ve always known. I bet you see the way my eyes sparkle at your daily masterpieces — my favorite of them all? The skies. How could you paint the heavens every day, but never the same way twice? We should all learn the beauty of uniqueness from you.

I haven’t seen most of your wonders, but I can imagine how great they all are. I have seen some of my country’s oceans, though. They’re breath-taking and scary. What are you hiding in their depths? My best guess is it’s your most-treasured chest. And I understand why you’d keep it far beyond our reach, Mother.

We flattened your majestic mountains to construct cities. We built towers on your serene seas. We’ve even cut your ever-humble trees, although most of them were already standing here way before we took our first breath.

When you let Leviathan drown our towns, when you wipe the forest with fire, or shake the ground with a giant shiver, or lead the storms to come our way, how can we blame you?

Deep down we’ve always known the fault was never in the stars but in our hearts.

All we did was take, take, take, and then take some more again.

Will we ever learn to respect you?

I don’t know when exactly is your birthday, but we humans “celebrate” you on Earth Day. Or at least we pretend to care.

You’ve seen us live our lives selfishly. But you’ve also seen how much we’re sorry.

I hope all of us are truly sorry.

This letter got so sad. Drops of tears escaped my eyes, even! So let me end it with my simple thanks. I hope it makes you smile today.

Thank you, Mother Earth.

For carrying me throughout my life.

For cheering me up when I was a child with all those cute, twinkling stars.

For teaching me to live with delight, as the young trees in the streets do—swinging at the melody of the wind.

For introducing music and letting me fall in love with it through the singing birds that serenade us in the morning.

For caring so much that you send afternoon drizzles to cool a fierce sunny day.

For being so strong and creative and forgiving.

You are one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind.



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