This past weekend was the 4 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s catastrophic effect on New Orleans.
In the last days of August, 2005 I watched and listened in horror as the tragic drowning of my hometown took place. My sister called me to give me a link to a New Orleans website which was airing footage of our old neighborhood, close to Lake Pontchatrain . Our family home was less than a block away from where there was a break in the London Avenue Canal. We saw the shots taken from the helicopter of the home we grew up in, with water up to the roof.
Then over the next few days my horror and grief turned to disbelief and anger at our government’s lack of response to the catastrophe. In memory of the lives lost and forever changed due to Katrina and to the increasing and urgent need for change in how we live on the earth, I send out this prayer I wrote to Mother Earth during the unfolding of the tragedy in New Orleans.
Dear Mother Earth,
I am so grateful for the abundance you have bestowed on your children for so many millennia. Through the use of your rivers and seas, your minerals, plants and trees, we have lived and died, creating empires and wealth.
I am so very sorry for the arrogance and greed with which we have used and abused your body.
I am so very sorry that we have valued our own comfort over your protection.
I am so very sorry that many of your children have used your wealth to hold power over and to oppress your other children.
And now we see your anger as you rise up. Your rivers, oceans, valleys and mountains are on the move. As you move, seeking a lost balance, you destroy our cities and kill your children, who have abused you for so long.
The pain and destruction, the misery that your children have wrecked upon each other and upon your body, weighs heavy like a stone in my heart. A river of tears washes over me as your waters wash over my hometown, drowning her in a toxic flood, a cataclysm of natural and manmade orders.
We beg for mercy.
Be as gentle as you can as you cleanse your body of the toxins we have stockpiled here.
For those of us who are sacrificed in these times of great change, please accept our bodies back into your deep womb. Nourish and enlighten us to a rebirth into a new way of being and living in harmony with your rhythms.
And for those of us who survive, please provide the means through which our hearts can open to love. Help us to find our way out of the desert of greed and selfishness and into a new dawn of compassion, harmony and peace.