Climate Change Connections: Valentine for Mother Earth

Thanking the earth for the beautiful experiences we’ve had over the years.


“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.” —Rachel Carson

It all started with my sandbox, my irrepressible love of nature. Without fail, my sandbox beckoned me in my everyday 3-year-old morning and afternoon routines. Above my sandbox was our kitchen window, my mother’s perch as she watched with hawk eyes as a protective mother in full command of her daughter below.

My adoring mother could see how happy I was in my little sand sanctuary. Motivated by that, she encouraged the precious hours I spent in my small playground of sand, and she clearly observed that a certain destiny was beginning to take hold in her child.

I worked for long stretches with my tiny hands making mud pie after mud pie, the sand damp from carefully pouring just the right amount of water from my galvanized pitcher to make my “dough.” I molded each mud pie into the best circle my little hands could carve, rounding them over and over until I finally got them just right. Then I adorned each one with little bits of leaves or an acorn “hat” and sometimes with a tiny rock. After I was satisfied that they were all pretty, I placed them very carefully on the edge of my sandbox to “bake” in the sun.

My mother was keen on watching my love of nature unfold, but what intrigued her equally, and sometimes more so, was how determined I was becoming. My sense of willpower and resolve were marinating and developing in the making of mud pies. She watched with pride and amusement and a bit of uneasiness.

That early love of nature and developed determination have followed me into all the paths of my life. My father captured this by mentoring me at a pivotal crossroad, “Never lose the magic of the mud pies.”

In this month of Valentine’s, my love of nature behooves me to write a love letter to Mother Earth as a way of showing my thankful heart for her being a driving force in my life. It also lets me thank her for being so generous of self, and that I will return her dazzling benevolence by protecting her.

Dearest Mother Earth,

I have loved you for as long as I can remember. I have memories of when I first discovered you in my little sandbox where I made mud pies as though it were my calling on earth, and in its foreordained way, it was. I remember playing in creeks, squealing with glee at the sight of the waterfall we visited in the mountains on Sunday drives, playing with the animals on family farms and collecting eggs like they were gold. I have fond recollections of the excitement of lightning bugs in a jar, of doodle bugs, of creeks, rivers, swimming holes, mountains to hike, of the beauty in the tiniest insect, of holes in the ground and holes in the trees. All this was setting my bedrock of self in the first years of my life in the magical land of Tennessee. My dear Mother Earth, you were mine to love from the very beginning of my life story, and to this day, you have been the most fetching and interesting person I have ever met!

My life has shown me your beauty and energy in the rain forest and rugged grandeur of the great Northwest; in Florida with trees draped in Spanish moss and swamps, rivers, lakes, and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico; in the red clay mud of Georgia; in the beauty of flowers in English gardens; in the ancient trees of Italy; in the emerald fields and the Irish mist while trekking on horses in Ireland; and now surrounded completely by water as I live in the bounty of nature so manifest here in my home on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard.

You, Mother Earth, have been so generous for so long to all of us who call Earth our home. You have fed us, sheltered us, clothed us, protected us, given us water and oxygen to keep us alive, and cause to love beyond measure.

And now it is your turn to be cared for. With strong and steady conviction, we are holding you in our arms and fighting off the enemy of climate change that we have caused. We are committed to resetting our balance with you until you are safe again and so are we.

We can win this battle!

With eternal love and devotion,

P.S. Multitudes care for you. “We have not been very kind to you, however, you are my whole world, and I hope we can make it right.” —Cindy Andrews, Edgartown, owner Rainbow Place.

“Beloved mother of all things, I bow my head before you as I look at your wonder, beauty, and creativity, and now I am devoted to paths of healing for you.” —Andrea Cranson-Flaherty, Vineyard Haven, physical therapist at M.V. Hospital.

“How can I ever repay you?” —Steven Buckley, Edgartown, Buckley’s Catering.

“I revel in your endless, infinite color palette, and I am hoping this magnificence of you will last forever if we listen to you.” —Jessica Buckley, Edgartown, florist at Donaroma’s.

Suggestion: Write your own Valentine love letter to Mother Earth and see where it takes you.