It’s not hard to be in the moment when you’re at the beach. This morning we saw a dolphin, a wild one, close enough to be amazed at its size. They are REALLY big! Much bigger than they look on TV. It moved away from us but we continued to see its fin as it swam through the Gulf waters.
It’s easy to be cynical about the damage we’re doing to the earth these days. We seem to forget what a tiny part of the system human kind represents. But it only takes a dandelion poking through a crack in the sidewalk to remind me how resilient nature is.
“Another world is not only possible, she’s on the way and, on a quiet day, if you listen very carefully you can hear her breathe, ” I find this quote from Arundhati Roy really encouraging. When I look at the world this way it’s easier to continue efforts at recycling, limiting travel and other small steps that lower my carbon footprint. Believe me, it’s still bigger than I’d like but it’s all about small steps.
I look to serve the cause of the earth, its flora and fauna. My mind goes right to my garden as I write this, to the creatures who drink from my stream and bird baths, the birds who eat at the feeder and the deer who occasionally nip the rosebuds from my bushes. The word serve is operative here.
Service comes from the spirit rather than the ego. When we serve, it is from a level playing field. We engage friends and neighbors as equals, listen to their ideas and needs and find creative ways to join those needs and ideas with our own.
The earth and Iowa in particular are rich with potential solutions to the crises we face today—clean water and local food in particular. However, the best way to address them is to start in our own homes and communities.
Often we forget the resiliency of the natural world, and take on too much responsibility for her survival. This perspective can lead to cynicism and hopelessness. To turn the trashing of the earth around, we must remain hopeful and courageous.