Last year, great plans were underway to celebrate. Then came the COVID-19 and the best laid plans changed. Now, we are in a significant pause, sheltering in place out of love for our fellow human beings. This quieter time carries its own gifts.
For me, this pause allows the mental and emotional space to reflect on my relationship with Earth and with one another. It’s been a time to step back and think about what matters and to notice what often gets overlooked. This gentle isolation reminds me that I love connecting with others AND that I’m very grateful to Earth for the many gifts she gives us all.
Cleaning and sorting through closets and stored memorabilia, I’ve thought about my lifestyle over the years. Purchasing more than I needed, I’ve been far more owned by my possessions than the other way around. And I’ve used more than my share of Earth’s resources. For that I’m sad, feel remorse, and vow to be more sensitive going forward.
Home for weeks now, living in a radius of 8 miles, I experience a beautifully interconnected community. Spontaneous and organized kindness sparkle every day, connecting people and reminding me that none of us is really alone, if we don’t want to be. Through businesses and community groups, I can help others. I breathe better, noting that the air is cleaner with fewer cars on the roads and fewer jets in the air.
These weeks reinforce how everything interconnects—Earth, people, culture, behavior. My own actions and attitude ripple through my community. Let me make those ripples loving and life-giving. I am grateful for the cleaner air, the sounds of frogs and birdsong, and the lovely fragrance of Springtime.
How do I hold on to the lessons of this pause? Let me be respectful of all, especially those with no voice. Let me be grateful for all the small blessings that come, confident that they are gifts of the Great Mystery that we call God. Let me do what I can to care for Earth and one another.
I celebrate Earth Day 2020 with gratitude.
St. Hubert Church parishioner, member of the
Greening Congregations Collaborative of Whidbey Island
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