Here’s a strange thought I had. It stemmed from my ongoing attempts to imagine my relationship to the Earth Mother. At the ADF meeting I went to, I think it was the only serious topic of conversation that I suggested.

But I’m glad I suggested it. In response to my ‘basically parasitic’ example of a dog and a flea (I’m not the dog in that example), someone suggested sharks and the fish that swim about the shark, cleaning it.

Only recently, spending some quiet time in the woods (why don’t I do that more?) did it hit me: I’m not a cleaning-fish, I’m an intestinal bacteria. Putting the ‘eww’ factor aside, there are several things that make intestinal bacteria cool. Seemingly, they have more influence over us than we know. It’s not an entirely insulting comparison.

Here’s the thing: an individual bacteria goes about its business without any regard to me (I’m the host in this example). But, the numbers of each type of bacteria can basically change me in pretty serious ways. I’ve heard a lot of suggestions that our bacteria determine our health a lot more than we think, and they can affect the expression of genese.

I’m likening humanity in this example to the Earth’s “gut garden.” Individually, we may be insignificant for the planet. But, in sum total, we have some serious effects on the planet’s health.

Even better, we get to choose how beneficial we want to be towards our host organism. Whereas (it seems to me) that an unbeneficial bacteria has to die in order to make room for a more beneficial one, I get to choose my level of benefit.

More importantly, this is a comparison that empowers me: it empowers me to think about my effect on the planet, but it also empowers me to move forward in my relationship with the Earth Mother. After all, I know how I think about my intestinal flora, and know that it’s very cerebral, but not without affection.

I feel empowered to move forward with my relationship to the Earth Mother, and that’s what the goal of the whole thing is.

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