earth is the source of life. In one of my workshops with
a group of rural parents, a mother told me about her college
freshman. While at home, he contributed tremendously to working
the soil and harvesting the family's crops. When he went
to school, his parents insisted he stay at the university
on the weekends to be a part of the university life, to make
friends and become involved in university organizations.
The son, however, insisted on coming home on the weekends,
to help out with the farming. The parents continued to push
for him staying, insisting that family business was well
in hand. His help was appreciated, but not necessary.
Before going out into the fields one early morning, the
parents again tried to convince their son to stay at the
university. He interrupted their comments with a loud slap
on the table while saying, Now MOTHER! I REMEMBER THE
LITTLE RED HEN! The mother had to chuckle. That story
was his favorite during his early childhood. He felt obligated
to give something back to the family he loved and appreciated.
He had learned the lesson of the Earth well.
can have its own excesses. Nurturing and giving can overwhelm
us at times. We may sacrifice until there is nothing left
to give, so much so that our own lives become barren, no
longer capable of nurturing. Our love can also overwhelm
our children, suffocating them, overwhelming them as though
smothered by the earth.
oppressing tendencies of earth have to be moderated by the
liberating force of the Sky. Nurturing held in check
with letting go. Each holds the other in balance. Earth's
complement, Water, can engender greater nurturance.
Acceptance and patience are a part of love and care. But
there also needs to be a letting go, a releasing of the other
to take his or her own initiative, to pursue his or her own
ambition. The act of caring, of possessing has to occur within
the framework of freedom or else it becomes oppressive.
is the experience of earth (metaphorically
speaking) important in your life? In your relationships with