Every morning we greet the forest and its inhabitants in song,
“Good morning dear Earth, Good morning dear Sun…”
And the forest, in turn, greets us through all our senses.
The wind whispers hello in the trees and the birds sing to us from the tall pines.
We touch the soft moss and the prickly holly leaves
and they touch us back.
The clean air carries the scent of the wet autumn leaf litter
and the Christmas–is-coming fragrance of the sticky pine sap.
We follow the small animal tracks through the fresh winter snow
and decode the worm-written hieroglyphics on an old stick.
And at summers end we taste the sweetness of the last wild blackberries.
Like a dear sibling, the forest is our friend and playmate.
Together we climb trees, balance on old fallen logs,
splash in the creek, and dig in the mud.
We make lovely things too, like houses for fairies and crowns for the forest king.
“May I please pick a blossom for my forest crown, or some spices for my stone soup?”
We ask permission, we praise and we offer gratitude.
With each passing season, the forest feels more and more like family and home.
Here we are all kin. We belong to each other.
With every visit, we know the forest a little better and we love the forest a little more.
This is how we work for the restoration of a healthy sustainable planet.
We know that we humans are more likely
to take care of that which we love and feel connected to.