As you read this, your lungs are working - the soft sponge-like pores that give you life moment by moment are expanding and contracting. This breath is not yours. You do not possess it. It is given to you by the generosity of the earth.

And in this extraordinary moment when many of us have sequestered ourselves in our respective homes, the earth is a little healthier. The air is cleaner and the waters clearer. Because collectively we have stopped much of our activity from cars, trucks, planes, trains and factories, there is less carbon being released into the earth’s atmosphere.

The great coral reefs are like the lungs of our oceans. They are living sponges that support life. And they are dying, turning white and hard. The trees are like the lungs of our forests, creating the oxygen your lungs need to breath, and sequestering the carbon which helps regulate the earth’s carbon emissions.

When the earth’s lungs are healthy, so are yours.

And now we face this extraordinary moment when the COVID19 virus has arisen killing many human beings across the planet. It respects no boundaries or political ideologies. It robs humans of their life by hardening the mucus in their lungs.

So in this moment, take time to be still and listen. Notice how easily you slip into busyness and distraction and bring yourself back to your fear, your grief and your gratitude for the life this earth gives in every breath you take. The earth is breathing so you can too.

@ Roshi Robert Joshin Althouse

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