How will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?

Valentines Day

Show you care, not just to those you love, but also to Mother Earth

How will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?

Who doesn’t secretly love to receive a card or gift on Valentines Day, and on occasion to send one, surreptitiously or otherwise? We all want to feel loved and cared for and hope to have beloved family and friends around us who we, in turn, feel deeply for, and not just on Valentine’s Day, but generally in our lives.  
Have you ever held back and not shared your feelings, not voiced your care and affection for those you love and then regretted it later?

Love bonds us together as families, friends and communities, but, life is not just about loving each other as human beings. It is well known that festivals and rituals were held throughout ancient times to show love and respect for mother earth and the seasons.  Survival would have depended on successful crops, being able to feed ourselves as well as our livestock. Revering mother earth and praying for a fertile, productive year ahead would have been intertwined with people’s lives and survival was often felt to depend on it, judging by the nature and importance of these rituals. Evidence has shown that sacrifice of various kinds were not uncommon, a word that is not so well used in these individualistic times.

The earlier part of the year is the time when fertility festivals often took place with the transition from winter into spring in early February through to May. I wrote a bit about this last week in terms of Imbolc, Candlemas or St Brigid’s Day. According to some Valentine’s Day grew out of more pagan celebrations in the Ides of February around mating rituals. A perpetuation of the tribe with new young blood would have been an important part of survival after-all and was all part of the cycle of life.

I am going to get a bit serious now, though I know Valentines should be all light frothy champagne and bubbles.  I make no apologies.  I was in a situation recently where I had to ask a very sprightly and vibrantly alive elderly gentleman with a twinkle in his eye ‘what is the biggest threat we experience today?’ His answer, ‘global warming’. Not pollution, or Brexit, or the Economy. I have been dwelling on this ever since, along with the many things he said and the evidence which is all around us.  Although I fully agreed with him and did make ethical decisions in my life in accordance with this, I still tend not to give it the level of attention it needs.

So here goes. Unlike the ancients, we have forgotten how to love, revere and respect mother earth. We in the western world hold a lot of responsibility for that as we have been reluctant to sacrifice our home comforts. People all around the world are already experiencing loss of habitat, political instability and scarcity of food on a mass level as well as there being near extinction of many species.

Our mother earth is now in crisis, we have forgotten how to care for her and how important this is to the cycles of life and our survival. I am therefore sending my valentines this year to mother earth along with some commitments I would like to make, personal pledges to her. I believe that we need legislation and action on a much wider scale, but having said that, many people are now choosing to change their personal actions which have the potential therefore to really make a difference.  The impact of not doing so will be felt by the ones we love, including our children and grandchildren if we don’t.

So how will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year? Don’t leave it until it is too late to express your love to later feel regret at holding back – Start showing you care, now, today…

I plan to demonstrate my love to planet earth and concern for future generations in the following ways, not just on Valentine’s Day, but as ongoing changes in my habits and behaviour.

My 10 Pledges to Mother Earth:
Get closer to the earth by getting outside more, going for walks, tuning in with the seasons and literally getting my hands in the earth to grow more of our own fruit and vegetables.

Buy fruit and vegetables from local farmers markets, farm shops and green grocers

Do all we can to encourage wildlife into our garden by not using any pesticides and chemicals at all and creating and preserving wildlife-friendly habitats’.  

Do an audit of all our shopping and where the plastic is with the aim of eliminating buying any plastic. Reuse and recycle any plastic that we do have.

To shop locally for as much as we can thereby reducing air miles in the food we buy and supporting local producers and businesses to help foster a vibrant local economy

Minimise food waste by using up left overs and continue to home cook. Bring my reusable cup for takeaway coffees when I am out.

Move to a more plant-based diet, eat less meat and make sure that it is outdoor reared and kept humanely when I do eat it. Eat less fish and to eat only sustainably caught fish

Read up on issues that I am confused about such as the paper bag versus the reusable plastic bag so that I can argue my case – look at discussions on sites such as eco-cops formed in Canterbury and which is on FaceBook which provides really stimulating, positive and insightful discussions on various arguments around living more sustainably, global warming, plastic use etc.

Get involved with local groups such as Whitstable monthly Beach Clean

Campaign and lobby local council, MP’s, Parliament to legislate on the things that will make a difference to help affect real change

To write in Whitstable Larder blogs about living more sustainably. I do already do many of the things on my list but want to improve and increase what I am doing and then share this with others with a particular emphasis on sustainability issues around food and drink

To conclude, however you decide you want to express yourself this valentines,  don’t feel regret, ACT NOW

There may even be side benefits of the above such as increased feelings of community, fitness, health and well- being. You never know, you may also meet new friends or even your Valentine...

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think

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