Welcome to Earth

.
I’ve often thought there ought to be a manual to hand to little kids,
telling them what kind of planet they’re on, why they don’t fall off it,
how much time they’ve probably got here, how to avoid poison ivy,
and so on. I tried to write one once. It was called Welcome to Earth.
But I got stuck on explaining why we don’t fall off the planet….
And one thing would really like to tell them about is cultural relativity.
I didn’t learn until I was in college about all of the other cultures,
and I should have learned that in the first grade. A first grader
should understand that his or her culture isn’t a rational invention;
that all cultures function on faith rather than truth….
.
~ Kurt Vonnegut, “Afterward” in Free to Be…You and Me
by Marlo Thomas and Gloria Steinem
.
I captured the photo above of the supermoon on January 1, 2018 through the window above our kitchen sink. It faces due east. We had just moved into our new home in November 2017. It was our first winter. I had no idea that the pipes to the kitchen sink would freeze when the temperature dropped below 0ºF. Both inconvenient and worrying, to say the least. But, on the other hand, since we have figured out how to keep the pipes from freezing, we haven’t had any ice art on the window where a frosted window and a full moon came together in harmony.
.
January 2022 marks the beginning of the sixth year of these weekly emails. The first two years, beginning on Inauguration Day 2017, were focused on the 24 Kaleidoscope Lenses. Year three, 2019, was Music, Miracles, Mystery. 2020, year four, was Fire & Ice. This last year, 2021, has been Lead into Gold. The Healing Stones are woven throughout and the entire body of work is called Grounded Light.
.
The theme for 2022 is Welcome to Earth. It is open-ended and centers on the vastness of this profound embodied 3D journey of width, breadth, and depth we take for granted much of the time; this sometimes delicious, sometimes devastating precious experience we call Human Life on Earth which, by definition, is interconnected with All Life on Earth. It’s all, all, all a miracle to behold. How on earth did we come to this life, this world? Wow.
.
We all have stories of the extraordinary ordinary everyday moments in our lives whether at home or far away. As I send you mine, I invite you to send me yours.
.
For myself, I have stories to tell about many places and cultures: About studying in Czechoslovakia. About living and working in Lebanon. And the Dominican Republic. And Switzerland. About visiting Haiti, Venezuela, and Curaçao; Papua New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand; Egypt, Syria, Israel, and Jordan; Yugoslavia, Greece, and Cyprus. About an annual visit to a spiritual community in India. And trekking in Nepal. And visiting Thailand for Christmas and Indonesia to bring in a new year. About adopting Michael in Peru. Also, more stories about living in Africa. 
.
And I also have stories to tell about both unique and common experiences at home: About living in Minnesota – both in the country and in the city. About the animals who have visited our urban home to have their photos taken. About loving the forest, the water, orchids, and antiques. About the house I built in the beautiful woods of Marine on St. Croix and about selling it because it just didn’t work with single parenting. About how a most common experience, parenting, is also the most exotic. About living during a global pandemic. About feeling politically marooned. About teaching kids and coaching business leaders. About the sun and the moon from the perspective of planet earth. About time and space. About how things change in an instant in some cases and stay the same over millennia in others.
.
Welcome to Earth!
.
.
.
Photo by Barbara
Through our kitchen window
Minneapolis, MN.