I can still remember the first "speech" I gave. It was in 4th grade, mid 70s, the National Woodsmen of America was sponsoring a contest with the theme being "Conserving Our Natural Resources."
With the help of my Aunt Vonda (7 years older than I), I gave a rockin' speech that began, "Honorable Judges, Mr. Lythgoe, Parents, and Fellow Students, the topic I am speaking on today is that of 'Conserving Our Natural Resources.'" I came in 3rd place; I think I was awarded $10. I still have the 3x5 cards on which this speech is written - somewhere. Sadly, I can't remember the rest of my speech! However, this speech really caused me to look at my farmland surroundings and think about how blessed I was to live in a place where there were natural resources to save!
I'm a believer in Mother Earth, Mother Nature, and that it is my responsibility to care for my surroundings just like I care for my children. I believe in recycling, reusing, reducing, being gentle, exploring with awareness, and leaving as little of a footprint as I can. I believe my natural surroundings are a blessing to me and that with blessings comes responsibility.
I also believe being in nature heals - that the earth has healing powers and energies I can tap into. I need water, mountains, trees to be the best me, and I am grateful that I am surrounded by absolute beauty.