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Avatar, Arbor Day, and Honoring Mama Earth

Lissa Rankin's picture

avatar pandora

I wrote this on Arbor Day and just wanted to share it with you Pinkies!

I saw Avatar last night (in 3D IMAX, no less. Wow!) And today, I went to Green Gulch Zen Center with my family, where the dharma talk was about the interconnection between all living things. After all, today is Arbor Day. Tree huggers of the world unite! After the dharma talk, trees were planted at Green Gulch and those of us with dirt under our fingers felt a little more a part of the earth on which we live.

Our own magical world

Which got me thinking about Mama Earth- and Avatar’s fantasy paradise of Pandora. My favorite part of the movie was the flora, the fauna- the floaty jellyfish seed pods, the giant orange spiral mushrooms, the gossamer trees with filmy filaments like willows that connect you to the Divine. It’s a magical world out there in fantasyland. We gush about the movie, we whisper in Awe about the beauty of Pandora. And then we turn right around and trash our own magical planet.

Think of the majestic redwoods that live in my backyard. Or the ocean cliffs I can see from my window. What about the purple heather that blooms on the mountainside this time of year? And who in the world thought up leafy sea dragons? Talk about magical!

What I loved most about Avatar was the interconnection between all of life. I love how the people mingle their hair with filaments from nature- and in doing so, they link. I love how the roots of the trees are all interconnected to the Mother Tree- how hurting one makes them all ache. I love how the people honor the land, creating a natural symbiosis. And then the ugly Americans show up and ruin it for everybody. It had me in tears.

So I found it funny that today is Arbor Day, the day to honor trees. Several times per week, I hike among the redwoods in reverence. The trees ground me. The stabilize me. They root me, as if we are- indeed- irrevocably linked and my sanity depends upon them. If someone were to chop them down, I would be heartbroken.

lissa tree hugging

It's not just the trees

This interconnectedness to life flows through us, you know? It’s not just about trees or plant/animal life. It happens to us too. When I hurt you, I hurt me. When you berate yourself, you diminish me- because I love you and how dare you berate someone I love? This thread that unites us can feel extremely delicate at times, so much so that we may feel isolated, alone, separate. And yet, it’s simply not true. The thread that binds us is surprisingly strong, like the neurons that entangle each other to make up a thought.

If you’re like me, Pinkies, you get overwhelmed when you think about how we might help save Mama Earth. How can little ol’ me fix this big old catastrophe?

10 Tips to Help Save The Planet & Connect Us All

  1. Eliminate Styrofoam.
  2. Carpool.
  3. Limit or eliminate the use of plastic.
  4. Support local farmers- buy local.
  5. Recycle.
  6. Green your home (more on that soon from Green Goddess Tricia Barrett).
  7. Plant a garden.
  8. Buy organic food.
  9. Walk or bike if you can.
  10. Use reusable products, such as reusable coffee filters, batteries. Avoid disposable items such as single use cameras, razors, paper towels, etc.

And as a bonus for today: PLANT A TREE.

Hugging a tree and feeling the love,


Debbie's picture

Lissa, I love that you gave

Lissa, I love that you gave us a checklist of ways we can help mother earth. How Pink of you-Thank you! I felt the same way after watching Avatar (even in non-3d, Ha!) I laughed with excitement and cried in sorrow at reality. I am still growing from this movie experience. I will be working on the checklist and looking forward to more "green(my)house" challenges. And, I renew my hope that one day I too will stand in awe in the redwood forest and have the trees hug me! Psst- since now the 'cat is out of the bag' with more of the Avatar movie scenes I hope Pinkies will use the Pink Forum discussion set up to share more of their Avatar movie experience : Yes? Discussion: Avatar... the movie

Tre ~ (Tresha Thorsen)'s picture

tender hugs for this

tender hugs for this thoughtful embrace of surroundings...so nudges the reminder that our thoughts about everything impact...your practical suggestions offer great ideas for nurturing where we dwell....a great resource for organic gardening and yard shares is a twitter friend @hyperlocavore....she's a gem and in pacific northwest near ya'll....great tips..you never know maybe she'd be into teaching the community how.. love the image of you hugging a tree..since it's my nickname..nudging some neat options for some photos for me. are you really able to wear yummy shorts right now????

Stacey's picture

Ooh I love this post! Thanks

Ooh I love this post! Thanks so much for writing it Lissa!

I visited California for the first time 2 years ago and my dear friend who lives in Santa Cruz asked me what I would like to do while I was there. I said, "Do you think we could see the Redwoods?" and she laughed and said, "Oh, I can totally deliver redwoods!" I've always lived on the East Coast and had no idea that they live in people's backyards in Cali!!!

We had the most magical day walking and communing among them. Much love, Stacey

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