How beautiful you are, Earth, and how sublime!
What wisdom in your obedience to the light, and what nobility in your submission to the sun!
How seductive you are when veiled in shadow and how radiant is your face beneath the mask of darkness!
How crystalline are your songs at dawn and how marvelous are the praises sung at the hour of your twilight!
How perfect you are, Earth, and how majestic!
I have crossed your plains and climbed your mountains; I have gone down into your valleys and entered your caves.
On the plains I have discovered your dreams, on the mountains I have admired your splendid presence.
And in the valleys I have observed your tranquility; among the rocks I have felt your firmness; in the caves I have touched your mysteries.
You who are relaxed in your strength, haughty in your modesty, humble in your arrogance, gentle in your resistance, limpid in your secrets.
I have crossed your seas, explored your rivers, and walked the banks of your streams.
I have heard Eternity speak through your ebb and flow and the ages return the echoes of your melodies over your hillsides.
And I have heard Life calling to itself in your mountain passes and along your valley slopes.
You are the tongue and lips of Eternity, the cords and fingers of Eternity, the thoughts and words of Life.
Your Spring awoke me and led me towards your forests, where your breathing exhales in the distance its sweet perfume in spirals of incense.
Your Summer invited me into your fields to be present at your labor, at the birth of your jewel-like fruits.
Your Autumn showed me, in your vineyards, your blood running like wine.
Your winter took me into its bed where your purity broadcasts its flakes of snow.
You are fragrance when young, force when growing, magnificence in middle life, and with the ice of old age, you are crystal.
On a starry night I opened the lock-gates of my soul and went out to be at your side, with a curious and hungry heart. And I saw you looking at the stars which were smiling at you.
Then I cast off my chains and shackles, for I discovered that the lodging of the soul is your universe, that its desires grow within yours, that its peace dwells within your peace, and that its joy lies in that long hair of stars that the night spreads over your body.
One misty night, weary of idle dreaming, I went to meet you. And you appeared to me like a giant armed with furious tempests, fighting the past by means of the present, overturning the old to the advantage of the new, and letting the strong scatter the weak.
In this way, I learned that the law of Man is your law. I learned that he who does not break up his branches dried out by his own tempest will die of indifference. And he who does not rebel to make his own dead leaves fall will perish from indolence.
Immense are your gifts, Earth, and deep are your groans; long too are the languishing of your heart for your children who have been led astray by their greed on the path of their truth.
We cry out to each other, and you smile.
We go astray, and you pay the penalty for us.
We soil things, and you sanctify.
And we blaspheme, and you bless.
We sleep without ever dreaming, and you dream in your eternal wakefulness. We speak to you while piercing your breast with swords and lances, and you heal our wound-like words with the scented oil of your waters.
We sow our bones and skulls in the palm of your hand, and you make willows and cypresses grow. We store our refuse and excrement within your caves and you fill our attics and taverns. We disfigure you with our blood and you wash our hands in the Eden river. We dissect your entrails in order to extract cannon and rockets from them, and from our bones you create the lily and dew.
Earth, you are long-suffering and magnanimous.
And the Earth cries out to the soil:
"I am the womb and sepulcher and I shall remain thus until the stars fade away and the sun turns into ashes."
Khalil Gibran, The Eye of the Prophet