Of Dirt and Air
“Then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.” – Genesis 2:7
Today is the autumnal equinox. This means that, for my part of the world at least, day and night are the same length for this one day. After today, we will tip again, night will lengthen and day will shorten, until the spring equinox rolls around again.
How will you recognize the autumnal equinox today? For modern people, shut off from the rhythms of earth and sky as we are by buildings and cars, cement and steel, this day can easily pass without notice. And yet, we are creatures of the earth, formed, so our earliest stories tell us, of dirt and air. We are created of the earth to be one with Mother Earth, even as we are her stewards. Stewardship starts with paying attention.
So today, pay attention. Maybe just for today you will go barefoot in grass for a minute or two; stop every hour to notice the placement of the sun; trail your hand in a moving river; lean up against a tree; or befriend an insect you would usually be tempted to squash. For today, maybe you will remember that you, too, are an earth creature. Happy Autumnal Equinox.
Creator, Thank you for the rhythms and harmonies of your beautiful planet. Amen.
Jennifer Brownell is the Pastor of First Congregational Church of Vancouver, Washington, and the author of Swim, Ride, Run, Breathe: How I Lost a Triathlon and Caught My Breath, her inspiring memoir.