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Dear Mother Earth: A Thank You Note

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Dear Mother Earth: A Thank You Note

Dear Mother Earth,

So, today is your big day, Earth Day! Congratulations on being roughly 4.6 billion years old. You still look FABULOUS, Dah-ling! (Not a day over 3.8 billion.)

Three weeks from your day is Mother’s Day here in America. (Oh, that’s one of the so-called “countries” on one of your seven continents. See, years and years after Pangea divided and drifted, we humans decided to label everything—we like to do that.) Anyway, I guess “Mother’s Day” is kinda your day, too, since none of us mothers would be here without you. So, thanks for that… I mean, life.

And while I’m thanking you, I have a few other things on my list:
Thank you for helping to calm my colicky babies with the sight of your gently blowing leaves, and the soothing sounds of your birds and flowing water. During the bewitching evening hours, if I stepped onto my apartment patio into your fresh air, they would instantly calm down. You really saved my life on that one!

Thank you for being there when I first introduced my newborn son to a “flower” and “tree” and “cloud” outside on our patio. He was born in April, and you were just gorgeous at the time!

Thank you for providing the many strong and willing trees that have been key participants in our games of outdoor “Hide and Seek” and “1-2-3, Touch Another Tree”.

Thank you for giving me and my children real-life examples of song lyrics like “Sunshine on the water looks so lovely”, “Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings, God made their glowing colors, God made their tiny wings”—not to mention countless animals for all our favorite animal songs, bluebirds, bright red cardinals, owls, squirrels, bees, butterflies, dogs, cats, the list goes on and on. (But I guess you know that.)

Thank you for giving us lovely weather for outdoor picnics and “driveway dining” in the spring and fall. Every now and then, we catch one of your beautiful sunsets from the top of the hill where we live, too. Pretty awesome handiwork! (Sorry, but I’m not gonna thank you for the summers. I live in Texas.)

Thanks for keeping all those stars suspended in their constellations up there, even when their glow is drowned out by the lights of our city. It’s always nice to know they are waiting for us when we travel away from the city, and we love to look up and gaze at them. They offer such a sense of peace, mystery, and wonder. Truly spectacular night-time entertainment!

Thank you for giving me and the kids interesting things to see and hear on our nature walks when we “Stop, Look, and Listen.” We’ve seen ants building hills, ducks pooping, herons taking flight, pelicans nesting, even egrets spearing and swallowing whole fish! We’ve heard and tried to mimic lots of your sounds, though my favorite comes from one of your human creatures—the sound of my kids laughing together. So, thanks for that, and please, keep it coming.

Thanks for giving us the full moon that connects us to the other people that we love who are far away. We like to sing “I see the moon and the moon sees me. The moon sees the one that I long to see. God bless the moon and God bless me, and God bless the one that I long to see.” Also, I refer to your moon every night when I tell the children “I love you to the moon and back!” (MJ used to say the same to me in response, but now he says “to Pluto and back” because he knows it’s farther away. Sorry. We still love you and your moons better. Besides, Pluto’s not even a planet anymore.)

Thank you for giving my family lovely vacation spots: the piney woods of East Texas where we go camping, the Texas hill country with its winding and refreshing Guadalupe river and rocky cliffs, the white sandy beaches of Florida with the sound of the rolling waves, the flat vistas of cow-speckled prairie at the ranch in Oklahoma. Plus, I just like being able to see that pecan tree in our backyard through the bathroom window when I’m sitting on the toilet.

Thank you for the cloudy, cool, rainy days. I don’t know why, but those have always been my favorite. I like the sound of rain, the smell of it, the feel of it. I don’t use an umbrella. I like to walk in your rain, feeling awakened and invigorated by the drops, feeling reconnected to you.

Thank you for snow. (I mean the real, fluffy, white powdery stuff—not the messy, icy, slush.) We don’t see much real snow here in Texas, but when we do, like we did in January 2011, it is like heaven on earth. (I know the some folks up north don’t feel the same way, but this letter is from me.) The peaceful silence of its descent, the blanket of white on everything, the incredible uniqueness of each flake – it is a miracle! The kids love it, too, though they kind of disturb the silence. (We sure missed having snow this winter, maybe next winter?)

This next one is a BIG one. Thank you for the countless hours of entertainment, learning and fun you are providing my growing children. They have always loved you – exploring you, discovering you, your many properties and laws, collecting and studying your treasures. They can spend hours digging in your dirt, sculpting in your mud, crawling through your grass, playing with your rocks. (And did I mention we have a huge collection of your sticks in our garage which even moved with us from our apartment, and has been expanding ever since?)

This next one might often go overlooked, but thanks for leaving us a few clues as to the era of the DINOSAURS—you know, the fossilized bones, dried poop, and such. My son is totally fascinated by dinosaurs! And from what I gather about them, I should also thank you for not putting us on you at the same time.

Oh, I almost forgot this one…OOPS. Thanks for all the yummy, nutritious, fresh produce, and the meat. (Some people might be offended, but I do like the meat, especially the cow kind.) We try to encourage our kids to “eat a rainbow,” and all those pretty, colorful foods come from your bushes, your trees, your ground, and they are so much tastier than the unnatural stuff like the Fruit Loops and Gummy Bears. (Oh, and it’s not colorful, but thanks A LOT for the chocolate!)

Mother Earth, I know you do so much for me and my family, and we don’t stop to thank you enough. Sorry about that. I’m also really sorry about the pollution and mess that humans are making of so many parts of you. Please know that in our family, we try to do what we can to help protect you. We say it often, “In our family, we take care of the earth.” We recycle, we compost, we pick up litter, we save water, we try to limit our driving and carbon footprint, but I know we should do more. So, please be patient with us as we all try to figure it out together.

And for what it’s worth, I think every day should be Earth Day, but Happy Earth Day, Mother Earth!

We sure love you!

The Manders Family

Lowry Manders is a music teacher, writer/ blogger for, and creator/ presenter of “Parent with Purpose” and “Teach with Intention” seminars. She lives with her husband, 5-year-old-son, and 3-year-old daughter in Dallas.

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