We live on the surface of this planet, but it seems that most people blithely go by without thinking about it. To them, the earth is merely the stage setting for the exciting play of their lives, where THEY are the star. To others, the world is just a flat strip of dirt with trees and allergens on it. And to others still, I mean I honestly wonder if it is anything at all for them because so many people take it for granted and aren’t hyperventilating over industrial pollution and the Greed of Man spoiling it for everyone, for generations, possibly forever!
But none of that for now. No need to panic in paragraph one. I am here to get you, the reader, better acquainted with the world on which we live. Not the societies, but the Earth itself. And not some sort of science lesson about environment and ecosystem. Who do you think I am, Bill Nye?
You will find that there are various notions on what the Earth is, even. And I’m not going to include the one where the world is lovingly cupped in the strong, capable hands of Robbie Williams. That one’s just for me.
A Rock with Plants and Stuff on It
People with no imagination will stand right up and announce that this is just a planet, like “probably a million others, somewhere” that happens to be able to support life. This earth is characterized as a clod of dirt, essentially. Like a dead stump that has mushrooms growing on it, practically. This is an unexciting world view.
A Flat Disc in Space
Flat earthers and tortoise back believers more or less agree that the earth isn’t even a planet like the others we can see. It is on a table top of some sort, maybe hovering in space, maybe on a tortoise’s back, maybe we are just actually set on a table top, like the little model train town in Beetlejuice; I am sure there are endless variations to this theme. As far as I know (since I have not bothered to research their beliefs), they do not think of the Earth as a living being. It is an actual stage and most, if not all, scientific facts that govern our existence do not apply to them because they don’t wanna.
My original child interpretation of the earth was actually Mother Nature on the Smurfs. They seemed interchangeable to me, so I imagine that there are people who believe in a world like this. To them, the earth is a lump of dirt with nature on it, and there is a form that the earth’s spirit takes that looks like a kindly old woman who has bird nests in her hair and robes covered in wildflowers and moss. She shows favoritism to the animals of the forest and will appear to teach Evil Mankind (and the viewing audience) a lesson. We love this earth like she is our grandma, not our mother.
Gross Pregnant Fertility Goddess
When I searched for “mother earth” on the internet, I discovered image after image of the earth in place of a big pregnant belly. This leads me to figure that there must be people who believe that the planet is seen as an orb from space, but if we were mystically inclined, we could “see” the all-mother that surrounds it, cradling her giant earth belly and… giving birth some day? I guess? Or she’s been heavily pregnant for five billion years with no relief in sight.
A Creature That Is without Gender
A lot of people, (including astronauts I have heard and so I am inclined to gravitate towards this one), refer to our planet as a living organism. It self-regulates all across its globe in a way that a whole living body does. I am not sure if they think that all of the animals (including us) are specialized cells on it, or if we are just incidental. But the earth is just a really big living thing — not a mother, not a lady. It is beyond those notions.
That, but More Aware
This living planet orb on which we dwell is a living, breathing organism, but it experiences time differently. To it, maybe “one day” is maybe a thousand of our years. As such, all of the man-made pollution that has really cranked up in the past two hundred years or so might only just have been noticed by it. Maybe it will become aggravated. Maybe it will give a mighty shake of its surface, like a dog shaking away water. Maybe it will be like, “Ugh, another infestation? I’ll secrete some magma worldwide and start this over. How annoying these things are.”
That, but Less Indifferent
Maybe the Earth is actually an angry god? Still on that enormous geological timescale, but once it notices us, it will angrily crush us and take pleasure in it. Maybe it will be more like, “my soils need to be enriched with the blood of these disgusting human ticks.” Maybe it will open up a canyon of teeth and grind us up by the million. A voice will boom out of what we think is the sky, and people will fall to the ground thinking it is God In Heaven, but NO it is the Earth, the only thing we should have ever revered and now we are ALL DEAD but it lives on in peace, all of it to be repeated in another hundred million years.