Earth - the beginning and its evolution
The Earth is currently estimated, from radiometric dating, to be about 4.54 billion years old, some one-third the age of the Universe at 14 billion years1. Earliest direct evidence (fossils) for life is dated at some 3.5 billion years ago, however, other evidence suggests it could have been as early as 4 billion years, shortly after the formation of the oceans2.
All the activities of living things take part in a thin spherical, and seemingly all too fragile, shell of our atmosphere; this also includes the top 12 km of rock/soil and the water of our planet. Together with sunlight, this provides the ingredients needed to sustain life in all its variety and forms.
Photosynthesis was a key evolutionary development and appears to have begun about 3.5 billion years ago3. It uses the energy of sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into a Glucose sugar molecules. a store of chemical energy which could be drawn on when needed, with oxygen as a by-product4. It marks a significant turning point in Evolution, eventually leading to organisms that could use that oxygen which now forms a significant proportion (~20%) of our atmosphere.
The first hominins that have led to modern day humans are currently thought to have appeared between 4 - 7 million years ago, though that figure seems to get extended as more fossil discoveries are made and better scientific dating techniques are developed5. Clearly though, the existence of our species represents a very small part of the overall timeframe for key events in Earth’s history.
Apart from modern day humans and some of our closest ancestors, it is not known how many species have been both sentient6 (a capacity to experience feelings and sensations) and be in possession of a deep understanding of their impact on their environment. If this is the case, we therefore have an important place in the scheme of things and with that comes a responsibility. As such, it is important we look after the home planet we inhabit and give it and the other species we co-exist with the respect that they are due. It should be borne in mind that mass extinction events are thought to have occurred many times since life first appeared, accounting for the loss of perhaps 99% of all the species that have ever existed. It is a sobering thought, especially as we may be no exception to eventually being included in that list.
On behalf of The Sunwheel Grove Druid Order
The vast evolving history of the Earth has stretched over an infinite age and far beyond the very beginnings of man, travelling on a compelling journey of transformation through space and time, delivering us to the here and now!
In our multitude we share in the beauty and magnificence of the living life of the Earth as our Ancestors have done!
We may have ventured near and far, high, and low, but we have always seen the Earth as our home, with its glorious sprawling tapestry of the flora and fauna in its abounding multitude, from the solid rock of foundation with its ageless strength and purpose, to the constant cycle of life, regeneration, and rebirth, living with the influence of the elements, with nature’s seasons and their influence on the soil and its fertility!
We are all children of Mother Earth, bound by circumstance and experience and drawn to life’s influences through our actions, intuition, and creativity, in a world that lives in harmony with the unity of life!
The Earth has been revered by both ancient civilizations and more modern interpretations across the world through changing times, for its fertility and life sustaining properties,
The Earth holds the water, from the seas and oceans of the origins of life to the lakes and lochs, rivers, streams, and springs that offer forth the drink of life!
The Earth also holds the deep rooting of the Trees, that have sustained us through the ages with their companionship and resources, both as a sanctuary and sharing an understanding with the natural world with their elegance and life-cycle, as we live in harmony with their breath of life!
We share in the fine beauty of the Earth, with the wonder of the chorus of bird song, the rich collective of life’s creation and nature’s garden and her bounteous harvest!
We believe in the balance, harmony, and power of the Earth, with the complex energy and grace of nature and its influences, the Sun, Moon, and the Elements!
We also celebrate The Sun, the Father, the Ignition of all Creation, as he rides his sun-wheel throughout the year, shining on like a guardian with his warmth and light!
And so too, The Moon, like a Goddess to the stars, sharing her reflected light like a beacon of love and hope in the darkness, with her caressing touch pulling at the oceans, seas, lakes, and the natural energies within us all!
On behalf of the Sunwheel Grove Druid Order!
Thoughts of the Grove
Planet Earth, It's My Life
Deep blue waters surround, clothing me in glistening beauty
their depths a home to countless creatures, a food chain you say
cooling my inner turbulent molten core
twice daily sensing a rise and fall
guided by my sister planet Moon’s law
More abundant beauty beyond my tidal reach
sadly much now scarred, bleeding with sores
torn away my once lush green coat
then covered and adorned with mankind’s designs
changing nature, staining the cloth
6 millennia of civilisation, then 200 years Industrial revolution
something called progress, words so proudly uttered
its by-products proven toxic to land, air and water
these ill gained gifts are not my want
bring back the purity, not what you made
Well I am older than 4 billion years
this rot is just an eye-blink in time to me
so think hard what the future would bring
should I blink twice more without your serious thought
for I will always remain here but....will you.
Where the Earth holds the Water
Fond childhood memories of dirty knees,
finding a reassuring sanctuary amongst the trees,
Enchanting time-scape’s captured, where the Earth holds the water,
lost in the moment with the Birds and the Bees!
Weaving a solitary peace along the tracks and trails,
Discovering the elements beneath wind swept veils,
Reflecting on whirlpools, that go with the flow, where the Earth holds the water,
Where insects bob, about their job and the leaves they set their sails!
The Black Mountains appearing majestic, on a clear fine day,
Reaching out a hand in the distance, and yet so far away,
I fell in a pond once, a small child covered in duckweed, where the Earth holds the water,
Trying to catch Tadpoles out of curiosity, out toward Malvern way!
Scanning horizons up and down, with their rise and fall,
Distant dreams, becoming life’s adventures, for one and all,
Riding the ripples that dance across the surface, where the Earth holds the water,
Drifting away, with space to embrace, to the sound of nature’s call!
Rare glimpses of beaches, awash with the tide,
With strings of fine white horses along for the ride,
Running like riffs, the climbing of cliffs, where the Earth holds the water,
Flexing the tiptoes and fingertips, while scaling up the side!
Sand dunes roll, out of control, gathering in their multitude and refining with age,
Wild grasses, sway upon the winds, random tufts catching the calm, the rage,
Creatures exploring a perfect world in a rock pool, where the Earth holds the water,
whilst settling grains, they form their chains, a setting for nature on a natural stage!
The call of the mountains, the hills and valleys, a foundation cast in stone,
Derelict footings they hint of a history, tucked over the rise where you can be alone,
Following the seams, of the wandering streams, where the Earth holds the water,
Capturing the breath, beyond life and death, where generations have happily grown!
If wishes were woodlands, with their cradling arms,
Giving up their shelter with their magical charms,
Gathering around pools, river bends and banks, where the Earth holds the water,
Basking in the energy of trees, as it naturally calms!
Autumn leaves, break down to soil, amidst the Earthly winter browns,
When the Holly and the Ivy are fondly woven, into wreathes and crowns,
Beautiful frosts, glistening sheets of ice, where the Earth holds the water,
Mistletoe sprouting, familiar rounded bunches, dressed in its seasonal gown!