Earth Awareness Archive

We Are Passengers

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Today’s earthquake, and resulting tsunami, in Japan reminds us of a few important truths: we are but passengers on this spaceship; it’s a living ship; the skin we rest upon is alive, and ripples with activity.

I am reminded that my own lifetime is barely a breath in the long history of this planet. My cares and concerns are like sub-atomic particals. Gaia is old and large and opperates under principles that, for all our human nattering, are immutable. That said, I pray for the communities affected by this.

Video: 8.9 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Japan

Read the original post on

gaiagirls Lee Welles is the author of the Gaia Girls book series.

No Habeas Corpus Here

Monday, December 20th, 2010

This is a wonderful speech. Chief Oren Lyons speaks about Climate Change at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN Headquarters in 2007. His words ring true.

“People have to change. Directions have to change. Values have to change. Otherwise…There’s no mercy in nature. None. No Mercy. Nature has none. Has only law, only rule. You don’t abide the rule, you suffer the result. And it’s just…no habeas corpus here.”

This is something I struggle with when writing Gaia Girls. We can’t “fight for the Earth,” until we are willing to tell a new story about what a means to be a person in 2010, 2011, 2015, 2020 etc. How are we going to be different 50 years from now? What are we willing to change to align ourselves with unchangable laws?

“Business as usual is over.”

(Watch video here)

Read the original article at

gaiagirls Lee Welles is the author of the Gaia Girls book series.

A VERY old Thanksgiving Prayer

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Long before pilgrims, the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois, or The League of Six Nations) had an opening prayer for gatherings. Still spoken today, Ohenten Kariwatkwa (which literally means “Words That Come Before All Else,) is used to remind us of our inter-connectedness with each other, other living beings, and the cosmos.

There are many versions of Ohenten Kariwatka. It is up to the speaker to chose what the gathering of people will express gratitude for. Consider this as you express your thanksgiving today!

FYI: The Haudenosaunee are considered one of the world’s oldest participating democracies (over 800 years!) and they are credited with contributing the formation of our own nation. Their leaders spoke at our Continental Congress in 1776, and you can see their influence in our Declaration of Independance and Constitution.

I suggest that today, we also express thanks and gratitude to The People of the Longhouse!

Words That Come Before All Else

~ The People ~*~

Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been
given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living
things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and
thanks to each other as People.

Now our minds are one.

~*~ The Earth Mother ~*~

We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for
life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she
continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we
send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one


~*~ The Waters ~*~

We give thanks to all the Waters of the world for quenching our thirst and
providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms–
waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send
greetings and thanks to the spirit Water.

Now our minds are one.


~*~ The Fish ~*~

We turn our minds to all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to
cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are
grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the fish and send our
greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

~*~ The Plants ~*~

Now we turn towards the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the
Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our
minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for
many generations to come.

Now our minds are one.


~*~ The Food Plants ~*~

With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from
the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries
have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them
too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting and

Now our minds are one.


~*~ The Medicine Herbs ~*~

Now we turn to all the Medicine Herbs of the world. From the beginning, they
were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal
us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to
use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the
Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines

Now our minds are one.

~*~ The Animals ~*~

We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life
in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We see them near our
homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it
will always be so.

Now our minds are one


~*~ The Trees ~*~

We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who
have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade,
other with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many peoples of the world use a
Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the
tree of life.

Now our minds are one

~*~ The Birds ~*~

We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly
about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they
remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To
all the Birds– from the smallest to the largest–we send our joyful greetings and

Now our minds are one


~*~ The Four Winds ~*~

We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their
voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They
help to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing
us messengers and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and
thanks to the Four Winds.

Now our minds are one


~*~ The Thunders ~*~

Now we turn to the west where our Grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With
lightening and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life.
We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our
Grandfathers, the Thunders.

Now our minds are one.


~*~ The Sun ~*~

We now send the greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day
without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day.
He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and
thanks to our Brother, the Sun.

Now our minds are one.

~*~ Grandmother Moon ~*~

We put our minds together and give thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the
Moon, who lights the nighttime sky. She is the leader of women all over the world,
and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we
measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on
Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the

Now our minds are one.


~*~ The Stars ~*~

We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see
them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the
gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With
our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to all the Stars.

Now our minds are one.


~*~ The Enlightened Teachers ~*~

We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come
to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind
us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send
greetings and thanks to these caring Teachers.

Now our minds are one.


~*~ The Creator ~*~

We turn our thoughts to the Creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and
thanks for all the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here
on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds
together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the

Now our minds are one.


~*~ Closing Words ~*~

We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we
have named, it was not our intent to leave anything out. If something was
forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their
own way.

Now our minds are one.

Read the original post on the Gaia Girls blog.

gaiagirls Lee Welles is the author of the Gaia Girls book series.

Interspecies Connection

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

This video is beautiful. It shows what can happen when people set aside their own wants, needs and agendas. This woman is simply be-ing, and another thinking, feeling creature felt safe enough to investigate. People tell me I have a way with animals. The way is to have no way. Just get out of the way and let Gaia meet you where she will!

Read the original post on the Gaia Girls blog.

Lee Welles is the author of Enter the Earth and Way of Water, the first two books in the Gaia Girls series.

Tigers In Bhutan

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

I really admire people who dedicate their lives to understanding and protecting threatened and endangered species. Tigers have been under tremendous assault due to habitat loss and poaching. Worldwide, there may only be as few as 3200 tigers left in the wild! So, you can see why BBC team member, Gordon Buchanan gets emotional when his hidden cameras reveal tigers high in the mountains of Bhutan. Check out the video from BBC’s “Lost Land of the Tiger.” Then visit World Wildlife Fund’s “Year of the Tiger.” If you can spend $10 to see a movie, you can text 20222 on your cell phone to donate $10 to help save these amazing creatures!

This article appeared originally on The Gaia Girls blog.

Lee Welles is the author of the Gaia Girls series.

The Bravest Woman I Know

Monday, July 19th, 2010

In the Gaia Girls books, Gaia often says, “Be brave.”

Julia Butterfly Hill is the bravest woman I know. She tells it like it is. I think it is interesting how listening to this level of truth-telling makes even a greenie like me squirm. One-by-one, we will need to move away from our disposablility consciousness. Can you pick ONE THING you currently throw “away,” and make a new choice? I dare you. Pick ONE thing in your life that you currently throw “away,” and choose differently.

After all, how can we tackle the BIG problems if we are not even willing to tackle a little thing like using a paper cup?

This is a link to a video of Julia talking about Disposability Consciousness:

Lee Welles is the author of Gaia Girls: Enter the Earth, and Gaia Girls: Way of Water. Both are available in our bookstore.

Small Things, Big Smiles

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

As I was walking to my office, I started to think about all the small "Gaia-gifts" that make me smile. Here is my top ten, and why I picked them.
1-Monarch Caterpillars: because they remind me that transformation is possible
2-Walking sticks (the bugs): because Gaia's craftiness is cool
3-Bees:because they remind me the sweet nectar of life is there for the taking if you're willing to get "busy as a bee" and work for it.
4-Animal tracks: because, if you examine them and follow them, they always tell a story.
5-Burdocks: They are Gaia's Legos!
6-Puffy clouds: because they are a good excuse to lay on your back and let your imagination run wild.
7-Daisies: because they smile back.
8-Leaves: because they translate the whispers of the wind.
9-Ladybugs: because at least some bugs should be "cute."
10-Dandelion fluff: because it reminds me of the ingenuity of seeds.
(Don't forget! Radio Gaia…LIVE, Sunday at Noon eastern standard time.)

Gaia on the Radio

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Treading Air

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Wow! Wow! Wow! These are the times I ADORE modern technology! Watch the hummingbird via a super-slow motion camera and see how hummingbirds do it. I know how to tread water, but these little guys have developed to tread air! (Hmmm, air-girl power?)

Musings Over V-8

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

It's February. I'm standing at my kitchen window, looking at bare trees, a dormant garden, and pale grass that I'd like to imagine is waiting for Spring with as much anticipation as I. I'm sipping V-8. "Hot Spicy V-8." I love it.

But then I start to wonder: where did the tomatoes come from? I look at the bottle and nothing there answers my question.

I take another gulp. My sinuses sigh with happiness. I'm doing some spring cleaning and the kick-o-spice is clearing out the dust just so. However, my liberal mind set persists: Did these tomatoes come from California? Paraquay? Mexico? Who picked them? I swallow hard, imagining an 11 year-old hunched over in an endless monocrop field, picking…picking…picking. These are my "Gaia Girls." They should be home reading, not picking.

So, an anonymous, dark-skinned, grown man should be picking the endless fields…right? *Sigh* I put my red-stained glass on the counter and imagine the migrant worker picking endlessly so that I might have my V-8 moment of delight. I can't help but wonder if he can take his 11-year old daughter to the doctor should she get strep throat. Moreover, can he buy a flute (or piano lessons, or dance) like my parents did when I was in fourth grade.

As our global economy ripples and melts, I realize these thoughts are not academic musings, but choices that have flesh and blood reprucussions.  How can I possible be the author of "fiction with a mission," if my own grocery-store habits are counter to that mission? I cast a baleful eye at the round plastic container my V-8 came in. How many gallons of water did it take to make it? How far was it trucked to be filled and back again to my store?

I love my "Spicy Hot V-8." Never in my life have I gone to the store and not seen it smiling from the shelves. But can I, with my supposed heart of compassion, continue to fuel myself with something that I know nothing about? If I were a stock broker of sustainability, could I recommend it?

Spring is coming. My family will be soon be buying seeds, tilling, planting, planning. What can I do, in the month of March, that will clear my conscience next February? I'm going to Google it. I'm going to attempt to find out where those tomatoes came from. But this is my blog, and I'm not a reporter.

I suspect that there are many people out there, sipping their ambrosia of health, mindless of the dis–ease it may beget. If you have any information about my tomatoes, I'd love to know.