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About Morning Earth


Philosophy of Morning Earth

We will not protect what we do not love.
Stephen Jay Gould
We are as large as our loves.
Baruch Spinoza

Morning Earth helps people renew and enhance their innate connections with the natural Earth, from three directions:

      Morning Earth Healing Images in photo and poem which celebrate nature, written daily and delivered daily to subscibers by email and also posted in the website.
    Website introductions to ecology and ecoliteracy in acessible versions. Graphic rich How Life Works
    Online publication of members’ earth writings.

Morning Earth’s focus is to help people of all ages to discover and adopt an eco-centric world view. Such a view sees humanity not as above nature or in conflict with it, but as a literal part of Earth, with a body made of Earth. An eco-centric world view recognizes that to injure the natural world is, ultimately, to injure the self.

The impact of Morning Earth depends on showing people our actual and true membership in the community of life on Earth, which is a personally intimate and intuitive membership. If this has been forgotten or dulled in a person, it can, through the power of art, be revived.

John Caddy, Morning Earth creator, writes, "Poetry is the art that chose me. Writing and teaching poetry for a working lifetime has taught me much:

    We all arrive equipped to create art.
Art-making is as natural to our kind as spirit.

As we humans said poems around the campfires of 50,000 years ago, we shared them for the same root reasons we still do:

• Celebration
• Healing
• Learning


In such sharing and discovery, we discover the twofold gift of art:

• Shared pain shrinks.
• Shared joy grows.


Art and artmaking have the power to heal—as we experience the arts, we learn that none of us is alone. When we take our pain out of ourselves and transform it into a poem, a song, a painting, a dance, it becomes outside of us, which enables us to deal with it in a way we couldn’t when it was locked inside.

Turning the leaf, when we celebrate our joy and transform it into a poem, a sketch, a twirl around a room, our celebration becomes shareable, our joy is passed to others. It expands. It makes our single selves become part of a larger whole.

Poetry is a path to the heart. Engage the heart, and the mind will follow.

Morning Earth sends a daily Photo/Poem entry to over a thousand subscribers on five continents. Each entry is a photo and brief poem that are based on a specific gift John Caddy has recently received from Earth. His photos record for him powerful moments that allow him to recapture them while writing; his short-term memory is poor as a result of stroke. Poetry is an art of moments—brief intense experiences that are the grist of our lives, and help us continue on. Caddy's entries are all celebrations, of seeing a natural thing he haven’t noticed before, of hearing trees creak against each other in wind, of laughter at the antic spiral a nuthatch draws upon a trunk, of awe at beauty, of the intricate spiral of a thistle flower, the surprise of squirrel scold, of teaching, sometimes painful teaching. Learning Earth’s teachings is a joy delayed, and helps us grasp the whole.

Morning Earth’s philosophy has been strongly influenced by the social movement called Deep Ecology. Here is a brief introduction.




History of Morning Earth

In the mid-1990s John Caddy began a program called Self Expressing Earth (SEE) at COMPAS, a St. Paul Arts organization. After a year SEE moved to Hamline University’s Center for Global Environmental Education, a distance learning pioneer. Our goal was to train teachers, teaching artists, and interpretive naturalists to help kids learn the nature of life on Earth through making art—visual arts, dance, sculpture & pottery, and, of course, poetry.

      For seven years SEE conducted powerful summer workshops to train these educators. We created extensive art activities for simultaneously learning art-making and principles of ecology.
      SEE also created a large teacher-resource web site.
    SEE also built a classroom presence through direct subscription. SEE subscriptions included a daily poem of celebration emailed M-F.

SEE was a fine program that eventually became inactive for lack of funding.
However, John continued writing and sending daily poems to teachers and friends. It became his daily practice. He called this the Earth Journal Project.

In time, he renamed the daily poem project Morning Earth. This occurred because his book, Morning Earth: Field Notes in Poetry, was published in 2003 by Milkweed Editions. The book is a selection of poem/entries from the first years of the Earth Journal Project.

Morning Earth has become important to many of its 1,000+ recipients, welcomed so strongly that we intend to continuously expand our subscriber base.



Privacy Policy

Morning Earth will not share any subscriber or member data with anyone, for any reason.

Praise for Morning Earth
I want you to know that every morning I look for your email. It lightens my day. Thank you. Karol (Pinky) Charon
Thank you for your Morning Earth Entries. I always look forward to them. I get my cup of coffee and then turn on my computer...and there are your beautiful "odes to earth." A little greeting observing the pleasures and beauty of nature. Lovely! Mary Salisbury
Thanks--a moment of peace, joy and learning each morning. Leslie Clemmons
Wondrous photograph and poem.
Emilie Buchwald
John, Your work has become an important part of my life, bringing inspiration... And we in Washington are working towards making education for sustainability the new moral imperative for education. Eric B Wuersten
Science Supervisor,
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction,
Washington State
John....When I get your e-mails I always feel you're out on the borderland sending messages back to us stuck in civilization! Sandy Spieler, Heart of the Beast Mask and Puppet Theater
I just had to write to thank you for helping me survive the past several months. Even in my darkest depths, your poems and photos gave me a spot of light, a wee bit of hope for the future. I seem to be dragging myself up out of it now and they resonate even more wonderfully as my senses return.
Thank you so, so warmly,
Your insight into nature is inspiring, giving me cause to really stop, look & listen to what is happening around me, take time to "smell the roses" & observe the little miracles that happen before my eyes, yet in this busy world, too often go unobserved. Thank you.
Jim Gaines
Thanks for letting me walk along with you and for pointing out so much for me to see and feel and smell and taste and love because I experience it differently as a result.
Ed Hessler
You bring me to tears again, John, as you observe for us what we never notice as you open our little feeling box and unite us with the hidden world.
Your poetry is inspirational and gives me such awe in the morning. Thanks.
What great insight and hope this reading offers, John.
Truly, the dawn is wrapped in the darkness . .
Katie Hanson
I cannot tell you how much your daily words have sustained me through some deep bouts of homesickness.
Many thanks for the sight of HOME, our grounded home.
Sandy Spieler
How often I may be outside on a walk or whatever and think about your poetry and how it has sharpened my awareness.
Marly Keller
I am enjoying your daily poems and photos so much! I love your appreciation of the beauty of biology, physics, etc. as well as sensual beauty. I am honored to be a contributor to your work.
Thank you so much for writing for all of us every day.
Margy Stein
Oh, John - this one is too perfect - both the poem and the commentary. Thanks for the heart-lift of the month
Neil Hutt
John, this will sound soppy, I know, so don't laugh, but I think of your poems as paeans of praise for the earth and everything it offers. I learn to see and give thanks as I read.
Sally Miller
Thank you once again for bringing beauty into my life.
Lauren Stringer
...... thank you so much for all the beautiful images and poems that come my way each day... it is a life-giving force and a source of nourishment.
Anita White
John, you put the good in good morning.
Mike Hazzard
Very cool entry you gave us this morning! And you were very observant to see this nice little juxtaposition of opposites!! And you were observant on a deeper level to see human nature's reflection in the "vines trailing across sphagnum." Thank you for doing this lovely gift giving to many of us who are total strangers. It is a wonderful, contemplative way to start the day.
Mary Salisbury
You start my days well. Thank you for you.
Susan Hoch
Every morning I sit down at my computer and draw a deep breath before reading your poem because it is going to pull near-tears -- the leaps you make, the resonance.
Pegatha Hughes
Your work too travels so far. Each day I bask in the glimmer of the world through your lens. Thank you so so much!
Sandy Spieler
I want to thank you for sending me your poetry each morning.  I look forward to it; it starts my day off in a very lovely way.  Your poems are like meditations for me.  I read them and feel both calmed and invigorated by your insights about this wonderful, beautiful world and its living things.  The photographs are also so exceptional; I've loved seeing the red rock -- and the cardinals against the snowy background the other morning were gorgeous.
Ann Nelson
I so appreciate your messages each morning. These are your gifts to us, and the wholeness of the gift giving is quite remarkable. Many, many thank yous...
Carol Kaemper
John, Just in case you didn't know what your daily visits
bring.....Well....this morning I was feeling "out of it", not an infrequent occurrence these days but quite new to my way of being. After joining you and the little green frog and the others in your swamp I got back " into it.". It? What? The world.? I don't think so. But I smiled and said thank you. Transformational! And it's mine to do whenever I am blessed with reminders such as pileated poets and red bellied birds whose bellies are yellow. (Or is it the other way? "Bother" said Pooh.)
David Cysewski
The fine miracles of what is given when we simply show up and LOOK.
Winnifred Adams
Thank you for making my day each day!
Ray Voet
I found your site through a link in the Pioneer Press…
what a delight I found !
Joni Nelson
I cannot tell you how your work lifts my heart and gives me courage to carry on. Thank you, thank you.
Mary Rose Betten
This poem amazes me, John. You notice and make connections about the world that make me see the world like a newborn. Thank you for that.
Katie Hanson
Dear Mr. Caddy,
I bought your book, Morning Earth, a few weeks ago and placed it on my book shelf. My life has been pretty difficult for quite a while and today it seemed extraordinarily bleak. I walked outside this morning to retrieve the newspaper in the fog. I walked back in to make coffee and then it happened. I looked out the kitchen window to see a broad tailed hawk not 10 feet away, staring at me. I froze and he sat there for over 5 minutes, turning his head and then turning back to me. Then he flew away. I made coffee, walked straight to your book (which I had not read at this point, nor did I even think of reaching for it specifically) and pulled it off the shelf. I opened to The Way, went on the front porch with my coffee and your words and something wonderful happened to me, I'm not sure what. Anyway, I feel as though a big weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I feel a certain "giggle" in my heart that I haven't felt in many, many years. By the way, that hawk came back several times, almost as if he was there with an important message.
Jan Carter
Hello Mr. Caddy,
Just wanted you to know that when I read your poetry, a small current starts at the tip of my toes and works its way right on up to form a big smile on my face.
Your poetry, like a daily soul vitamin, keeps me going.

Jan Carter