Tag Archives: earth

Putting the Pieces Together

This is a story of a story of a story…*

With no advance notice, one day the uncle of a young boy was asked to look after his nephew for a few hours.

Spirituality

While thoughtfully considering a quiet activity to keep his nephew busy during the afternoon, the uncle paged through a magazine featuring a photograph of the earth from space. The image was taken from a new perspective, as it was a recent NASA photograph captured during one of the space missions.

Removing the page from the magazine with the earth’s image, the uncle decided to make an impromptu puzzle of the photograph by carefully tearing the page into manageable puzzle-size pieces. Then, placing the pieces in a random order on a table with a roll of clear tape, he thought to himself, “That should keep him busy.”

When the man’s nephew arrived, the boy was given the impromptu puzzle to work. Retreating to another room to attend to yet another project, the uncle was surprised to see his nephew appear about a quarter-hour later. The boy showed him the fully restored photo of the earth from space.

“How did you put that together so quickly?” the uncle asked.

Turning the puzzle over, the boy revealed another image—that of a person. The nephew explained, “I turned the pieces over and found the picture of a person. I knew that if I could get the person together, I could get the world together.”

And so it is. Blessed be.

*Thank you, Martin Hill, for passing this story along.

Spiritual Swimming

Describing an encounter in the Pacific Ocean, with a wild animal tangled in fishing line, a  committed distance swimmer related how completely Still the ensnared creature became as she stopped her swim to approach and liberate the entangled animal.

Spirituality

When we learn to move on the Earth, as swimmers do, to the regular rhythm of our own life Force and breath, we bring ourselves in sync with the rhythm of the natural world, and we are able to approach those in need without fear. In turn, those in need are able to receive our assistance without struggle.

This is not a paternalistic model for human behavior in relationship to nature.

But, this is a call, a reminder, to stay close to our own inner Light and develop the regular rhythm of our own breathing–because we do not breathe alone; we either breathe in sync with the Life around us or we choose, in our flailing, to destroy the harmonious rhythm of the Kingdom of God.

Earth, Stewardship & Disconnection

As we enter the park to camp, a new sign greets us on one of the established sign posts:  Firewood Collection is Prohibited.

“Hmmm. That’s a change,” I comment to my camping companion and in-house collector of dried twigs, sticks and ‘repurposer’ of downed branches.

“Yes, a big change,” comes the reply—with more emotion behind it than one would think four words could hold.

“I wouldn’t take it personally,” I add.  “Something must have happened.  Someone must have been irresponsible.”

Spirituality

Normally, when we go camping, we go off-season, enjoying a quiet park mostly to ourselves with the exception of a few year-round employees and a handful of fellow committed nature-lovers.  Generally, we choose camping sites that are more remote, collecting refuse—fishing line, cans, bobbers, packaging, etc.—in a trash bag we have brought from home.  While collecting trash, we also pick up dried and downed twigs and branches to supplement our own supply of kindling.  (Park staff have commented in the past that we usually leave a site “cleaner” than we found it.  Thus, our relationship with staff has been mutually respectful.)

On the second morning of our current stay, one of the park staff stops by and confirms that there has indeed been an incident causing the posting of the new signage.  Two living trees were felled and killed by someone wielding an axe, who then proceeded to try and burn green wood in a fire pit.

“Who tries to burn just-cut, green wood in a fire?”  my camping companion turns to ask me in disbelief, after the ranger has gone.

“Someone who is really out to lunch—out of touch and profoundly disconnected from the natural world,” I commiserate by stating the obvious.  “I have met people who do not realize that their paper bags come from trees and that plastic bags require an oil well.”  And, then in a moment of frustrated steam release and in an effort to find some humor in the human condition, I ask “Didn’t you know that fruits and vegetables come from a grocery store?”

We are part of a beautiful, natural web—a web of both visible and invisible ‘matter’ that needs to be honored.  Share what you have. Consume only what you need.