Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Greening and Tsunamis - The Earth Is Alive!

Texas persimmon
In early March this year, light greening has appeared on trees and bushes all over the Texas Hill Country. I took time to notice this, appreciate the warm air and listen to the calls of birds getting ready for nesting.

The planet is alive!

At the same time, we have news of Japan struggling to deal with disasters caused by the tsunami, earthquakes and radiation from damaged nuclear power plants. Thousands dead, hundreds of thousands homeless, and many more in danger of radiation sickness.

And according to news reports, as the Pacific tectonic plate shifted under the North American plate, Japan moved 13 feet closer to North America, and sank downward two feet. The planet itself shifted on its axis 6.5 inches and shortened the daily rotation time by 1.6 microseconds.

The planet is alive!

Joy and horror. It's all part of being alive on a living planet. Our moon is dead, but Earth is very much alive, from its molten core to its shifting crust and the species that inhabit it beneath its thin, oxygen-rich nitrogen atmosphere.

I write about this and take another deep breath...because I can.

Because my home planet happened to form far enough away from its star that the water didn't boil away - and yet not so far that all the water froze into ice. And the solar system itself is far enough away from the center of the Milky Way galaxy that radiation doesn't kill all life on the planet. Some deadly radiation reaches us from the galaxy and from our star anyway, but the earth's active molten iron core creates an electro-magnetic field that surrounds the planet and deflects most of this radiation, protecting life on the surface.

Desert willow buds
Protected by the living planet, I take another breath.

I begin each day appreciating that I'm alive, and I also appreciate that life is a struggle. Sometimes a great struggle. But the bumper stickers that say "Life Is Hard, Then You Die" are misleading. An amazing amount of joy can happen along that difficult journey. But the part about life being hard is true.

Oh, how we struggle against adversity! That's the drama of life...how we engage our personal strengths to prevail against what challenges us.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength . (2011 Photos by Kathleen Scott, used with permission)


Sarcastic Bastard said...

I remember Anna Nicole Smith once saying, "Life is hard and then you live." Amen. I like her version better.

Love you, Denny! Hug Kathleen for me.


Camille Harris said...

Denny - Loved your post! You have reminded us again that the glass can be half full or half empty. Joy, gratitude - these are the words that come to me as I read your post. Thank you for your reminder that life is what we make it! Camille