Do you find yourself wondering what on Earth you can do about the dire environmental challenges of our time? Do you wish you could do something to make a difference, but doubt you have the time, energy, money or power? Author Cheryl Leutjen's book Love Earth Now (Mango Publishing, 2018) is a deeply thoughtful, often neurotic, and sometimes comedic exploration of her own efforts to make an eco-contribution. Through personal observation, that she records in stunningly beautiful prose, Leutjen's ode to our planet is one of the most distinctive ecological books to come along in a generation.
Are you wondering how to live more conscientiously without going crazy? Questioning whether there’s anything that any one of us can do that will make a difference? Something that we have the time, talents, and willingness to do?
Each chapter in this book is a snapshot of my own attempts to navigate the fine line between eco-mindfulness and eco-madness. I share these stories not to demonstrate what anyone else should do. I’m barely keeping my own head above the rising-because-of-melting-ice waters. I share my own challenges out of solidarity with anyone else who is struggling to know how to help. This book is a call for each of us to honor our own hearts and souls in heeding the call to live more eco-mindfully.
Because trying to do everything that the go-green documentaries urge, the climate change experts prescribe and the latest “Top Ten for the Planet” recommendations is my personal recipe for crazy making. There’s only so much I can accomplish with the resources immediately at hand—and postponing action until some later “right time” means postponing peace.
Trying to shoehorn myself into somebody else’s ecoprescription also means ignoring the stirrings of my own heart and soul, which have their own unique wisdom to impart. Heart and soul long for immediate attention. Not someday when I have money for a graywater system, or time to get out to protest, but right here, right now.
How do your heart and soul call for you to contribute, to live, to be? Only you can know. Each chapter concludes with a “Love Earth Invitation,” an opportunity for you to invest ten minutes (five, if you’re pressed for time) to discover your own calls to action.
Get comfortable, as best you can, right where you are, and breathe deeply before engaging with each Invitation. Allow cynicism and doubt to have their moment, and then offer, “thank you for sharing.” Allow your senses to fill, notice everything you hear, smell, feel, see, and taste—even (especially) if it seems crazy. Release any expectations of specific outcomes, if you will. Then entrust your eco-well-being unto the wisdom of your heart and let love guide your way.
We need each other more than ever.
Blessings of compassion, courage, and grace, earth family.
Excerpted from Love Earth Now © 2018 by Cheryl Leutjen. Published by Mango Publishing.