The sun slants differently in April, carrying warmth, bird melodies, and dust motes on rays of midday starlight. I’m lulled to go outside and feel the brisk air softening. Bulbs send shoots to greet the one who will melt the snow. If only Lady Lake Superior would stop playing with cold fronts, dumping more of her white rain. Crocus continue to bloom, tulips unfurl, and glories of the snow live up to their name.
Despite a determined sun, the weather remains fickle. On a sunny Sunday, Mause and I made our way to see my favorite beach at McLean State Park. The campground remains closed, but the shoreline was accessible. We hiked through the forest alongside the lake. I could hear the rush of small waves and turned the pup toward a tall hill. As she crested the outlook, Mause got her first look at the Lady.
And in true German Short-haired Pointer fashion, she pointed.
That night, the snow churned and icicles long as Jack Frost’s fingernails glazed the trees along the shore. In town, on Roberts Street, the robins, squirrels hunkered down and rode out the storm. By Earth Day, all was once again merry and bright. Snow remains in the shadows, but as a good friend who experienced a recent snow storm said, “It’s white mulch.”
Earth Day is a good time to talk about earthing. Also known as grounding, earthing describes interacting with the earth barefoot and bare handed. Like Mause did on the beach.
When the summer sun warms the sand, I love to dig my feet into its grainy depths. Not only does it feel good to my feet and soul, the contact improves my immune system. According to a fully researched article at the US National Library of Medicine, earthing has real health benefits:
“Multi-disciplinary research has revealed that electrically conductive contact of the human body with the surface of the Earth (grounding or earthing) produces intriguing effects on physiology and health. Such effects relate to inflammation, immune responses, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.”The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases by James L Oschman, Gaétan Chevalier, and Richard Brown, 2015
Going barefoot and digging in the garden without gloves is good for you. Earthing is akin to forest bathing. It gets me excited for camping because I also love the energy of sleeping on a pad on the ground. I can’t tolerate the cowboy method of sleeping on the ground, but I realize that as cowboys slept on the trail, they were recharging their batteries every night.
As I come to my final finals week for my MFA, I have one more week after to wrap up and submit my portfolio. Much is uncertain as conditions progress and I shift gears. A part of me wants to collapse, but I will do that on a sun-warmed Keweenaw beach. Like the tulip that breaks ground, we never really know what will greet us — sun, rain, snow, freeze, drought, or the nibbles of a winter-hungry deer. Still, we rise and grow to reveal our true colors. Until then, one day at a time.
Happy Earth Day, one and all.
Do not try to save the world or do anything grandiose.Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently,until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped hands and you recognize and greet it. Only then, will you know how to give yourself to this world so worthy of rescue.~Martha Postlewaite
Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.~ Linda Hogan
Your sadness doesn’t make you less of a human being. In fact, it makes you more. More expansive. More connected. Painfully beautiful. Raw. Open. Completely alive.~ Panache Desai
April 22, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about earthing. Put a character’s hands, feet or body and soul into the earth. Who needs recharging? What happens between the interaction? Go where the prompt leads!
Respond by April 27, 2021. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. Rules & Guidelines.
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Earthing on a Working Ranch by Charli Mills
Jerilyn’s house smelled like a barn. The danger of spring calving is weather that plummets into freezing blizzards after the bulbs rise. The night seven cows dropped calves she provided shelter in her newly remodeled kitchen. So much for pristine linoleum. Today, calves and mamas would reunite. Sam saddled their horses while Jeri mopped and dried breakfast dishes. Glancing at her Zen calendar, she realized it was Earth Day. A quote encouraged her to seek earthing, connect with the ground. She wondered if a mouthful of fresh clods counted? She didn’t relish getting thrown from that flighty mare again.