In Bhagavata Purana, spoken by the sages in the Naimisha forest thousands of years ago, there is a narration of the mother earth at the dawn of the current cycle of time, Kali-yuga. She describes how the pillars of human culture – austerity, purity, compassion and truthfulness – are being trampled by the increase of pride, lust, violence and falsehood.
We have conveniently distanced ourselves from and impersonalized the mother earth in order to pursue our desire to gain her abundance without responsibility. In any other relationship such cold-blooded abuse would be regretted. Nature is not dead matter. It is living energy. The consciousness of a plant or an animal may not be as developed as ours, but it doesn’t justify our tyranny. To have more tools means – to an intelligent person – to use them for a greater benefit. By mistreating the mother earth we don’t only cause pain but break the hand that feeds us. Despite of our financial prosperity and keen abilities of technology, we won’t be able to replicate her when she loses immunity to our drilling of oil, cutting down forests, polluting water resources, pumping the soil with chemicals and slaughtering animals. To lose a mother for greed and ignorance is embarrassing.
Any improvement begins with a change of consciousness. We can upgrade our situation, plans, skills and endeavours unlimitedly, but without the change of attitude or focus it won’t lead to a desired result. In order to regain respect and love for nature, we must understand who we are ourselves, what everything else is and what our relationships are. What is sustaining everything? A harmonic relationship with environment begins with willingness to reconsider our false supremacy over it.
The recipe of the sandwich cake is an ode to the mother earth. Thank you for showing me the trees are the hairs, the rivers are the veins and the air is the breath of the universal form. You dress by unwrapping the darkness of night into the mist of morning. You are an advocate of peacefulness, tolerance and humility. You manifest the qualities of higher intelligence behind the creation, maintenance and destruction. I am your servant.
Goat weed, wild chervil, nettle, dandelion and wood sorrel are among the favourite edible gifts of green from the wild garden and forest. They can be used as such in a salad, smoothie and pesto. Another way of serving them is like spinach.