Day 13: Transforming Seeds

For the past two years I have been living in Fresno, California, blessed to be sheltering at the foot of three national parks. Giant Sequoias are but one species in the glorious landscapes of Yosemite, King’s Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks, yet their towering forms and ecosystem sensitivity make them a larger than life presence in our area. This week I am reminded that these iconic trees grow from the tiniest of seeds, and that their very existence is dependent on the transformation of fire.

On this Holy Saturday, as we are counseled to embrace our despair as a staging ground for the resurgence of life, let us look for tiny seeds of great transformation. What in your life is calling to you as part of your commitment to slowing climate change? Where are the indications that your community is ready to engage environmental concerns through the lens of justice?

Unitarian Universalism reminds us to examine our faith commitments, build coalitions, prioritize voices pushed to the margins, and honor the outcry of a suffering planet. This day, and every day, let us commit to an honest engagement with environmental destruction so that we might clearly identify and nurture small seeds with a mighty potential to transform the future.

The Rev. Sofía Betancourt is pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Ethics and African American Studies while serving as Interim Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, CA.

Today’s practice is to seek out seeds of great transformation in your community or region. Learn something new about who—particularly among frontline communities—is taking action to make collective shifts toward a low carbon future, advance the human rights of impacted communities, and grow the movement. Explore how you might be able to help.

Today’s resource for deepening this message is the Our Power Campaign, a mobilization to end the era of extreme energy and implement a just transition to local living economies. Get inspired: check out their six Our Power Communities for amazing stories going on right now of building coalitions and community resilience. Check out this 8-minute video to learn about one of their pilots and what it means to work toward a just transition.

Commit2Respond's Climate Justice Month intends to take you through a transformative spiritual process leading to long-term commitments to climate justice. At the end of the month you will be asked to SHIFT to a low carbon future, ADVANCE human rights, and GROW the movement. Learn more and start thinking about how you will #commit2respond to climate change.

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  • commented 2015-04-09 14:54:46 -0400
    A writing teacher, perhaps Natalie Goldberg but I can no longer remember for sure, wrote in a different and complementary way about seeds. She said something like this: all of us, as we go through life, pick up seeds from our travels, and like wolves who shed the seeds from their coats in some other place, or birds who drop them from their peaks over a new meadow, we leave some seeds behind in the next place….inadvertently, unknowingly, but no less importantly for the growth of others to come. Whenever I feel that progress is too slow, my own actions too insignificant, I try to remember this concept. Everything that brought me to where I am now (at 65) is the fruit of others’ work and journeys; and what I leave behind, too, may hopefully serve others (whom I will never meet) to bring something new to fruition. It has been said, “A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under which they will never sit.”

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