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What is earth?

26 Jun 2017 02:53 #1 by ARLewis
ARLewis ► What is earth?
What is earth?

I asked an interesting question today. What is earth? An hour later when Professor Slate finished talking, I realized how complicated a simple question could actually be.

There is the planet that is called Earth, but that is too simple a concept. There are mountains that we can climb. Rocks that we can throw. Soil we plant seeds in after it is tilled. We can move without it moving. It can move without us moving...and then of course we end up moving. We make places to live out of it. We dig in it. We carve it up to get things out of it. Such lists can go on and on.

In all my years of study, in all my years of digging, pardon the pun, for information, in all my years of turning pages, the best answer I can come up with is “earth Is”.

Yes, that “Is” is capitalized...for the simple fact that to say the word “earth” implies more than just dirt, or rock, or metals and ores. Let’s take each of those in turn.

Dirt. More than just a plaything for children or to make clothes messy. Or for some to make mud pies out of. Dirt is used to hide things. Dig a hole, put something in it, and cover it back up; who’s going to find it? It keeps things safe,and cold and wrapped in darkness. Safe from the trials of the world. Or just kept hidden. The wonder of dirt, or should I say soil, is that things can grow from it. Seeds turn into plants, which turn into fruit, which can be eaten, and in the end give us seeds to replant, and so on. On could even go as far as to say, plant, grow, consume, reseed, replant, re-grow. Suffice it to say, a cycle of life starts and ends within the earth.

Rock. Rocks are solid, hard, sturdy. They can grow as big as a mountain or become as small as a pebble in a stream. You can build things on them or you can build things with them. A rock can be used as a projectile weapon and inflict damage upon another object or person. Stub your toe on one and it proves it’s harder than flesh is. Rocks can be used to build up a wall to help defend against the harshness of the rest of the world, or the people outside those walls. Rocks can break apart and great holes be opened up as if the Earth itself was in pain but also be beauteous to look upon.

Metals and Ores. Whether in rock or in dirt, metals and ores are the blood that runs through the veins of earth. They flows like rivers through the solidity of space. It can shine like the dark or molded to darken the light. They can contain and yet be shaped to keep things from being contained. Whether a base metal or precious, whether alchemy has been used to transform or to mold, whether they have been mined or dug up, metals and ores are a part of the fabric of the earth that binds it all together. We can take them out of the earth and mold them, similarly to both dirt and rock, into shapes that protect or destroy.

Farmers, Geologists, Metallurgists, and even Alchemists will have different ways to answer the age old question of “What is earth?”. But why give anyone the simple answer? Give them the best one that can be given. Earth Is.

“I like the mountains because they make me feel small,' Jeff says. 'They help me sort out what's important in life.”
― Mark Obmascik, Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled--and Knuckleheaded--Quest for the Rocky Mountain High

“Clarice scrawled, 'A question from when I was a little girl that I can answer only now: are rocks made, or are they born? Answer: rocks are.”
― Benjamin Moser, Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector

“I would request that my body in death be buried not cremated, so that the energy content contained within it gets returned to the earth, so that flora and fauna can dine upon it, just as I have dined upon flora and fauna during my lifetime”
― Neil deGrasse Tyson


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