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In Love with Earth Eco Calendar - Reconnecting to Nature

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In Love with Earth Eco Calendar
Reconnecting to Nature

By Leslie Curchack

In grammar school, many of us learned the chant: “30 days hath September, April, June and November... etc.” All my life I’ve taken the standard calendar template of time for granted, as I do my breathing or the force of gravity. As the author of a calendar for 6 years now, I’ve had a chance to look deeper into the conceptual nature of our Gregorian timekeeper, to see what is fixed and necessary, what is a cultural construct, and what are the creative possibilities for a calendar that can reconnect our hyperdriven modern culture to the natural world which is at the root of generating all time. 

The sixth edition of the In Love With Earth Eco Calendar, now available for 2016, keeps time with the usual days, weeks and months, while also inspiring perspectives on time and place not found in ordinary calendars. 

“People will change when you give them a more beautiful truth to move into.” These words by Paul Hawken represent the positive and hopeful spirit I want to convey with the overall impact of “In Love With Earth.” Little shock of awe at the beauty of our world and potent words reminding us of the interdependency of all life with Earth itself, aim to inspire a larger sense of time and connection alongside daily timekeeping. This more universal sense of existence is one which leads to cherishing and stewardship of our miraculous common home, of each other and even of our own unique individual being.

With my photos accompanying each month, I recreate the blessing of going still in the beauty of Nature, as perception slows down and we have the opportunity to pause and ponder deep mystery. Visionary or probing quotes on each page enhance the images and encourage awareness of belonging to Nature and to the Earth. 

Every month has notes on seasonal rhythms, facts of nature, astronomical events, and significant days in Earth’s eco history, such as August 7th, when the first photo of our planet was taken from space in 1959, and every human being could see the wholeness of the sphere we all live on. I took the liberty of creating a new holiday on January 12th which I called Universe Day, a day to keep perspective on our small place in a vast cosmos and to be grateful for this, our own unique and precious Gaia. 

Finally, for each month, I write a short commentary on a theme suggested by the combination of the image, the season, the notes, or the holidays. For example, in February of 2016, the photo shows a scene at Drake’s Beach with complex sculpting of the rocks from powerful geological forces. The energy of those forces eventually leads to the creation of soil, necessary for life. The commentary notes that in the face of climate change, how we as a species produce and distribute energy is our greatest challenge, and that we can invest our personal energy in practical ways that make a difference for all life to thrive on our planet.

For it is evident that we are at an ecological moment of utmost urgency. There is valid pessimism about whether we can leave this world habitable and humane for future generations. Having a 5 year-old granddaughter in my life helps me to be acutely aware of the future and motivates me to continue my activist work. This year at the Bioneers Conference, I was heartened by the brilliant, innovative and committed young people working for global solutions while telling a new story for the Earth, one in which we all work together in harmony with Nature. Moved by the profound ecological and humanitarian vision of Pope Francis’ Encyclical, I have dedicated the 2016 calendar to our timely and courageous Pope.

This grassroots calendar project was originally developed as a fundraiser for Daily Acts, an extraordinary local non profit which inspires and teaches communities to save water, conserve resources, grow food, and build resilience. I continue to collaborate with them and choose to donate a goodly portion of profits to Daily Acts, as the ripples of their dedicated hands-on work continue to go wide and deep in important ways.

Available at www.earthlovinglens.com, Copperfields, Petaluma Market, Community Market, Mail Depot, Cottage Gardens, Ace Hardware, Harmony Farms, Milk and Honey, Garden of Eden, Oliver’s Market, Share Exchange and other outlets for $13.99.