Week 3- December 17 – Our Fragile Earth
Reflector: Brenda Mehos
The truth snuck into my awareness slowly, from the periphery of my vision. It was like a shadow falling over my face as the sun lowers to the west on a fall day. I would read an article here and there about the Amazon burning, the ice shelves in Antarctica melting, another animal going extinct, and a feeling of unease grows in me. And I push it away.
In our beautiful mountains west of us, we have trees dying from an almost invisible enemy, a beetle the size of a grain of sand but containing the power to destroy a forest. Ghost trees stand all over the slopes and burn in late summer fires. Weather forecasts now contain air quality predictions due to smoke, for weeks and months at a time. The unease comes up again, and I try to make some changes, ride my bike more, recycle, and try to push the feeling away. But it grows louder and is harder to ignore.
I grew up here and remember a different climate. More wind in January, more rain on warm July afternoons. How can it change in just my lifetime? I thought where I live we would not have natural disasters. Nothing could happen to my house in the meadow. But then there was that September week when it rained day and night, day and night, until the lower part of our house filled up with water and a river rushed against it. And now in 2020, the unease is knocking on my door.
As Terry Tempest Williams so eloquently put it in her recent New York Times article, “A Burning Testament”:
We have been living a myth. We have constructed a dream. We have cajoled and seduced ourselves into believing we are the center of all things.
And what rings true for me from her article is the idea that we must grieve what we are losing before we can awaken to any possible renewal. And I believe as she suggests, that “grief is love.” If we can truly realize we are connected to all living beings as God intends, we may find a path to saving ourselves and our planet with the strongest power of all, love.
Prayer: Dear Creator, let me feel the grief. Let me feel the love. Let me be on the path daily of renewal and being part of the solution to make a better planet for all your plants, animals and people as one. Amen.