This past week, many of us celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day. The early years of this movement led to the passage of powerful environmental legislation that the current American administration is working hard to undo, despite the very real threats posed by climate change.
I had wondered in recent years if energy for this work to save our one earth was flagging in the face of so many other challenges to our civic life. Fortunately, it seems that the threats to what we have accomplished, and the coronavirus pandemic, are leading to a renewed focus on how we preserve this one world we have to share.
One personal highlight of the past week was worshipping virtually at the National Cathedral and hearing the sermon preached by the Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, who was my spiritual director during some of the years I lived in Massachusetts. She serves as Missioner for Creation Care for two jurisdictions in Massachusetts (Episcopal and United Church of Christ), thereby living the ecumenical nature of her passion to serve and protect one earth.
As I’ve walked around my desert neighborhood this past week, it seems that the cacti are celebrating Earth Day with bouquets of gorgeous blossoms. Echinopsis and related cacti are offering up large groups of showy blooms, many on long, delicate stalks. They bloom for a single day and then fade in the midday heat.
I am grateful for these blossoms, and well aware of how they reflect our own lives on Mother Earth. In terms of geologic time, we blossom for a less than a day, then quickly fade and die. Individually, our impact is small, but collectively, we bring both beauty and hope. Our beauty graces the lives of others who are not currently blooming. Our hope lies in giving of ourselves to the bees and butterflies so that a new generation may be pollinated and nourished.
How are you called to give of yourself, of your sustenance and your skills, to preserve Mother Earth—not just on Earth Day, but throughout the year?