In my last post, I wrote a letter to my friend Sydney thanking her for many things. On the surface, this letter seems very simple; however, this letter is not only a thank-you but also demonstrates my understanding of eco-literacy. Two of my classmates that also had similar understandings to my own are Robyn and Raylin. All three of our posts express gratitude to someone else for teaching us how we can be more eco-literate people. As just said I am thanking my friend Sydney in my poem, Robyn is writing to someone named Alissa and thanking them for being an eco-literate person and Raylin discusses how she is grateful for what she learned from her grandmother’s garden.
In Robyn’s blog post titled “Dear Alissa” one of the very first lines is, “[t]he empathy and recognition you have for all life forms is truly inspiring” which reminded me of my letter to Syndey where I mention my gratitude for Sydney for never putting herself above other animals and always being respectful. Raylin also discusses this mutual respect between person and animal in her poem/letter titled “Secret Garden”. Raylin explains how her grandmother and the garden taught her about animals’ and plants’ importance to us. In one line she says how she is thankful for learning “[t]hat a flower has as much life as us / That without them / We cannot be” demonstrating her understanding that plants are far more beneficial to this world that we as humans sometimes recognize.
In the book Braiding Sweet by Robin Wall Kimmerer, reciprocity is mentioned many times. Kimmerer uses this word to help readers to understand that eco-literacy is more than “going green” (or whatever other environmental slogans you want to use) but it is also about recognizing what the earth gives back to us and reciprocating those gifts. One thing that both Raylin and Robyn discuss that I do not think I mention is this idea of reciprocity. In “Dear Alissa” one of the lines talks about how Alissa is always “[r]especting the environment as a gift from mother nature herself.” To me, showing respect is a form of reciprocity. Raylin also mentions how the garden reciprocates the earth’s gifts to us by being a “secret oasis … for all living things”.
These poems and letters can be used to help learn about eco-literacy and understand different ways we can all be eco-literate.