Earth and Soil

This is part 4 of a summer series that is posted here each week.

Meditative Reading:

There are many references to the land in scripture, to places of fertility and to the wilderness, to praises for the land flowing of milk and honey, to laments about the people being driven from their land. There are numerous reminders that the earth belongs to God and that mountains, rocks, and the seashore can all be locations where God’s presence can be found. As you slowly read through the passages consider what landscapes feel sacred to you. 

Genesis 1:9-10

Exodus 3:1-12 (Moses and the burning bush)

Psalm 24 (the earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it)

Spiritual Practices:

  • Go for a saunter (which comes from the French “sainte terre” or holy ground) or walking meditation. Walk slowly paying particular attention to the feeling of the ground beneath your feet. Allow your body to lead, without having a destination in mind. How does this feel different than other walks you may have taken? How does this slower, mindful pace change your experience of your surroundings?
  • Find a patch of earth or grass outside and remove your shoes. Pay attention to the sensations of your feet touching the ground. What do you notice about this patch of earth you have chosen? Notice how you are upheld and supported by the ground and the force of gravity. How might it be considered holy ground? Genesis 2:7 says that God formed human beings from the dust of the ground; how might you honour this connection? 
  • Choose one meal (or snack) of the day to eat slowly and mindfully. As you take each bite, say a silent thank you to an element of creation that has contributed to the food you are enjoying. Begin with the earth which is the basis of each thing we consume. How does this reflection on the ingredients of your meal change your perception of the food?  
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Erika lives in Kitchener with her husband Cameron and her son Levi. She works as the Spiritual and Student Development Advisor at St. Jerome’s University where she engages in conversations with SJ community members about spirituality, justice, and leadership. Erika loves spending time outside with her family, listening to audiobooks, and cooking new foods

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