I took a course on Learning from Indigenous Voices late last year, and in one of the chapters, I was inspired to write a letter of contrition to the Earth.

On this Earth Day 2024, I would like to share this with you.


Dear Earth,

I would like to express my apology to you.  For most of my life, I have taken you for granted, and have engaged in habits and practices that did you harm.  Some things I did to you included:

  • Spraying chemicals on our lawn to have a bug free green carpet
  • Using precious water to feed that carpet, even when it was more brown than green
  • Seeing the sun only as a source of UV rays from which I needed to shield my eyes and skin
  • Shamelessly buying from Dollarama, Amazon, or earlier Zellers and BiWay, without a thought to the plastic waste or transportation costs to bring products I didn’t need (but bought anyway)
  • Believing my role was to put garbage and recycling at the end of my driveway irrespective of the amounts

Earth, I am SO sorry.  I mistreated you – and still am mistreating you in many respects.

I no longer engage in most of the above, am learning about native plants and how curtains can be used to control the temperature of our house, being far more aware of the garbage we generate, etc.

Beyond this, I now appreciate the sun as a divine gift, the wind as a reminder of the beauty of change, the mystery of a solemn tree and the joy watching the birds and small wildlife going about their business.

I am now aware of you precious gifts of water and soil, and am trying to do my best to live the rest of my life in gratitude for what you have always given me.

I know I have, and continue to, harm you and for that I am truly sorry.

I need you to know that I am profoundly grateful for your gifts to me, your patience, and your kindness.

I feel it when the sun blankets me, the rain refreshes me, the seasonal changes delight me, and how precious you have shown me my life truly is.

I humbly thank you, dear Earth.

  • Tanya Hewitt