Introduction Editorial

The Earth is Doing Her Best

image | Diane Barker, A rainbow over Dong Tsang Ritro Retreat Center in Nangchen | See more in Gallery 3

Welcome to Kosmos Spring Edition, 2019 | Climate, Consciousness, and Community

Spring is truly the season of hope. Fresh beauty budding-up on trees and bursting through hard ground, emerging against all odds. Irrepressible life. Renewal. A balm to our winter-weary hearts, and maybe an antidote to the despair that catches our breath away in unguarded moments.

Maybe it catches us walking in a woods bereft of birdsong, or hearing about another deadly tornado or wildfire, or imagining our children’s lives after we are gone—this sadness arising. At such times, it helps to look up at the sky or a beautiful flower, to return to slow conscious breathing, and to feel the Earth, above, below, and within us – striving to live. Tender gratitude wells up for all the Earth has given us and those we love. The Earth is always doing the best she can, but it’s getting harder.

I remember, as a child, riding in a car and noticing the fascinating variety of insects whose lives came to an abrupt halt on our windshield. When we stopped for gas, the attendant had to clean the bug splatter off the glass with a squeegee. Today, I can drive for hours on the highway and the windshield remains spotless. Where are the bugs? I learn that the total biomass of insects is decreasing by about 2.5% per year. At this rate, there will be hardly any left in my children’s lifetime. As the insects go, so too the birds, and pollination of flowers and crops. We know this. 

When did you first feel ‘at one’ with nature’s penetrating presence and mystery? Were you a child, enmeshed in the strange drone of cicadas on a warm summer day? Was it the first time you witnessed the glittering ocean or the arc of a shooting star? That expansion that suddenly bloomed in your chest revealed your true nature as an essential note in the symphony of creation—not just a drop of water in the ocean, but ocean-water itself.

This stuff of creation we are made from requires something from us now. Animals of the world, trees and flowers, minerals deep in the Earth, already know their true nature, how to be. We have forgotten. The species with the most gifts, the most to give, has forgotten its place in the order of things, has forgotten about stewardship, awe, and grace.

This April 20-23, the time of Passover, Easter, and Earth Day, we gather together as a family in a small town in Pennsylvania, to remember our gifts. The Kosmos Climate, Consciousness, and Community Summit is our opportunity to look into each other’s eyes and recognize our true nature, to share what we have learned, and to carry precious seeds of hope and resilience back to the places we come from.

We will not be alone. Our brothers and sisters at Findhorn Community in Scotland will be sharing the journey in tandem, and streaming to other hubs like ours, clarion voices: Charles Eisenstein, Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, and many more. And we will be convening with dear friends in the thriving Transition Town community of Media, PA.

This edition of Kosmos Quarterly touches the themes of these important gatherings: Oneness, grief and loss, gratefulness, hope, preparedness, stewardship, resilience. This collection of works is less about what we ‘know’ about climate, than what we feel, and less about what to ‘do’, than how to be. For, until we remember our at-one-ment with the Earth and all beings, our actions will have little restorative impact.

We thank Findhorn’s Climate Change and Consciousness (CCC19) planners, especially Convener, Stephanie Mines, for contributing to this edition of Kosmos Quarterly. Read Stephanie’s Keynote and see how gifts can flow through us when we open our hearts to the call of the Earth.

Let these stories, essays, poems, and works of art be signposts, reminders to our children that many of us woke-up and started to face the consequences of our actions, that we began, at last, to remember why we are here, and to slowly repair the Earth in thousands of small places, and that maybe—if their own children someday read these words—we did it in time.

In Gratitude,
Rhonda Fabian, Kosmos Editor

May the day be well and the night be well. May the midday hour bring happiness, too.
In every minute and every second, may the day and night be well.
By the blessing of the Triple Gem, may all things be protected and safe.
May all beings born in each of the four ways live in a land of purity.
– Buddhist chant

About Rhonda Fabian

Rhonda Fabian is Editor of Kosmos Quarterly. She is an ordained member in the Order of Interbeing, an international Buddhist community founded by her teacher, Thích Nhất Hạnh. Rhonda is also a founding partner of Immediacy Learning, an educational media company that has impacted millions of learners worldwide.

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