“Dear Earth, I promise…”


The Walk of Wisdom participates in Nijmegen’s Green Capital of Europe 2018. From 22 April, everyone can write an intention for a green lifestyle on a vegetable garden label in the Valkhof Chapel and ‘plant’ it in a bowl with soil (more). Our board member Thomas Hontelez wrote a love letter for the earth with his intention not to buy new stuff for a year. Thomas will lead a five-day walking week on the Walk of Wisdom (lake) from 5 to 9 August.

Dear Earth,
When I first met you, every touch, every encounter was special. On the beach, I could spend hours enjoying your willingness to be molded into all kinds of shapes, or I could enjoy you like the shapeless warm sand that slipped between my little toes. At home, I enjoyed you in the form of sticky clay that stuck under my shoes. I tried to gather as much as I could underneath it, and then run as fast as I could. I enjoyed you in the fruits you brought forth and in the little creatures that had their home in you.

Later, I went to discover you in the woods and mountains, I let yourself challenge me and you let me measure you. Just when I thought I had overcome something and was really somebody, you showed yourself superior again and taught me to live in humility. That’s how I grew up, sustained by your unwavering presence and your immeasurable beauty. You were there for me every day, it became a matter of course.

They say that the longer a relationship lasts, the more you start to appreciate the little things in the other person. I have the feeling that it is the other way around with us. I’ve noticed lately that I’m asking more and more of you. I want to see higher and higher mountains, more and more beautiful flowers, ever rarer animals and more and more unique forests. The sand that you are too and that I used to enjoy, I see more and more as an annoying side effect of being outside and as a reason that I have to vacuum again and again.

I forgot how much you do for me every day. I have become too spoiled by your unwavering care and love for me. I expect you to let me ski on your most beautiful mountains in the winter, and give me a place on your most beautiful beaches in the summer. The temperature has to be just right, otherwise I’ll get grumpy and the view has to be nicer than last year, otherwise it won’t count. I don’t want to see you in your purest form again, wild and pristine. But just tamed a bit so that I can sit warm and cozy again in the evening and show my friends online how beautiful our relationship is.

I know you’re too faithful and caring to tell me to my face, so I’ll do it myself. It is no longer like this, something has to change. That change is hard for me. There are so many bad influences around me that I sometimes forget what my choices mean to you. But believe me when I say I want to change. I want to be able to enjoy the little things again, like in the old days when we first met. When I still got butterflies in my stomach when I was allowed to go outside and enjoy everything you had to offer. When every gust of wind and every drop of rain told me you loved me.

I ruined you, but I hope it’s not too late. Change takes time and energy. I prefer to start with a small change that I can keep up for a long time, you’ve probably heard too many of grand, meaningless promises.

Dear Earth, I promise I won’t buy any new stuff all year long, so you don’t get exhausted unnecessarily. You’ve already given me enough, I’ll just have to make do with that for now.


More about the five-day walking week with Thomas from 5 to 9 August: link.
More about ‘planting’ an intention to a green lifestyle: link.