I’ve been thinking a lot lately about nature, our environment, and our planet. Maybe it’s the work I am doing to create Cincinnati’s first natural burial sanctuary, which will allow us to do our small part to offset the pollution and environmental destruction being wrought by the modern American funeral industry. Maybe it’s my son’s work, in New Zealand, doing environmental restoration. Maybe it’s the book Jennifer has been reading, “The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative,” by Florence Williams – a fascinating look at the science behind why we really do feel better when we “get out in nature.”
Maybe it’s beyond my nuclear family: The seemingly relentless summer. The devastation of hurricanes and tropical storms. The rising sea levels and the melting of glaciers. Maybe it’s the inspiring, truth-telling leadership of young Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who has awakened an international uprising to confront climate change that might, I pray, just save us all.
Yes, there are many reasons for me – and for us – to have nature, and our planet on our minds these days. To devote ourselves, and a portion of our time and spirit, to helping mend the environment, wherever we happen to find ourselves living. I am given hope, by the dozens of volunteers who have showed up at Heritage Acres for work days that are beginning to transform that holy ground into an even more beautiful portion of our earth. I am given hope, by the upcoming “Garden(ing) Party” at Heritage Church (Oct. 12), when even more folks will put their fingers into the sacred soil of this beautiful planet, and help beautify the place we worship all week, every week. I am given hope, by those of you who compost, who garden, who recycle, and who use clean energy at home.
As “The Nature Fix” tells us, these kinds of activities feed our souls and literally improve our health and well-being – while at the same time, improving the health and well-being of our planet. As our Unitarian ancestor Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”
May it be so!