You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.

[Seattle (c. 1784-1866), native American chief of the allied Native American tribes. ]

If you are a dog-owner, or a parent, then you must be familiar with the parks, as I am. They are my favorite places, those lonely islands of green in the midst of urban concrete, the peaceful sanctuaries from heavy traffic. Like a runaway who escaped city smog, I inhale fresh air deeply, filling my lungs with the magic smell of Earth after the rain, cut grass at the start of the spring.

I follow a path through the trees, their green branches reaching out to Sun, ambitious as all the young. Feeling like a thief, I find myself stealing these moments and stashing them to savor later.

Later, when I’m low, and need to remember how it feels to feel high, I will be able to envision what I see now.

Mother Earth is all around me. Mother Earth, please be a mother to me.


Photography by Alberto Di Donato

Alien, alienated. That's me.

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