5.4
January 5, 2016

A Love Letter to the World.

Flickr/Tobias Van Der Elst

Mountaintops and faraway sunsets, burned skin and battered leather boots—sometimes love can be as easy as that.

I’m in love with the way the wind blows in the moors, with the strangling frosty air that bites the skin and leaves ephemeral kisses on my cheeks. The otherworldly sound of the waves crashing into the shore, the voices of mythical creatures in every subtle movement of the earth, the hymns of ancient angels when the stars first graced the night sky—I can still hear every sound, every incantation when I close my eyes beneath the morning sun.

The scent of pine and resin, the electric fragrance of the frost at dawn, the salt air of the Atlantic at night when the moon crowns the universe and the scent of sun-kissed lavender fields. I’m absolutely, madly, unbelievably, terrifically in love with you, Earth—and I’ll never find the perfect words to express how much you mean to me.

I’ve swum with elephants—I’ve stroked their rough skin and looked into their gentle eyes—I’ve seen endless beauty in their reflection, and I’ve heard the echoes of age-old chants in their calls. I’ve swum in the warm water of the Pacific and encountered creatures more beautiful than anything I’ve ever seen before. The taste of mangoes on an empty stomach and the monsoon caressing my bare feet is a sweet memory from the past that makes me drunk with love.

The freezing cold of the Gulf of Finland, palaces and ferocious waves on a rainy April day, the bitter beer in a pub in Dublin after an exciting day, the misty mountaintops of Scotland viewed by a small ship passing by, sailing between the coastal fjords of Norway beneath the hot summer sun.

Some images are imprinted in my memory—like blurry Polaroids on the walls—like words of love written in the warm sand on the beaches of Portugal, because they are forever and I know that you will take them and keep them like a sworn secret. They are a confession written by mortal for immortal.

First memories of frozen lakes and menacing forests in the unfathomed lands of Russia, frostbitten hands and the Italian Alps beneath the airplane, the beauty that has struck me deep, deep down. I’ll never recover. Nothing compares to you, to your fairness and grandeur, your temper and fury, your wisdom and richness.

Nothing is dearer to me than your blue waters, your ancient ruins and the creatures that dwell on your fertile soil. Nothing is more passionate than your erupting volcanoes and the warm core of your entire being. I feel your blood and rain flowing through my veins and I feel your heartbeat when I am alone with you. I can hear you sing when the world is quiet and peaceful—I can see you dance in the sandstorms, and I can hear you mourn in the church choirs.

You are my only love, meus amor aeternus, and I will love you until there comes a time that I will lose myself in a delightful amnesia, delirium, on the verge of the mortal end at the start of new adventures.

I often wonder at what point in our lives we have become so disconnected from our home. After all, we are made from the same material, the same dust and dirt, the same collisions of atoms. We have lost ourselves, in the mercurial whirl of evolution—we have abandoned all reason and mindfulness of our existence, wandered off into the wilderness of our own thoughts and empty concerns.

Traveling and overcoming fears on my own has taught me that this world is an enchanting and miraculous place. No fantasy world can beat the splendour of planet earth—the brilliant, untamed lands that remain unreachable for our limited minds.

We so often lose ourselves in fiction, in magical stories about Atlantis or Camelot—we love to let our imagination wander through the Dreamlands and Westeros, Rivendell and Narnia. We really shouldn’t forget that our own “dull and boring’” home is the only inspiration for these breathtaking places we long for so much.

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known,” Carl Sagan once said.

Our entire universe is constructed of incredible pieces of matter that go beyond any human imagination or understanding. We live in a world that has more secrets than the human mind can grasp that are waiting to be discovered—adventures awaiting us outside the door, stories waiting to be written, beasts waiting to be unleashed.

It’s time to shift our focus from our dreams to the reality that surrounds and nourishes us. It’s time to let go of prejudices, doubts, constructs, rules, limits and fears and get to know our only friend in this vast and terrifying cosmos—our home, our earth.

This is a tribute to the most magnificent creation of the universe—this warm and violently divine world that has given us life. Let us unite in honoring each and every day spent beneath her loving gaze.

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Relephant:

Our Mother is our Shelter.

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Author: Katya Bohdan

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Flickr/Tobias Van Der Elst

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Katya Bohdan