Long ago, the Great Spirit looked for a home for people, the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), and for all they would ever need. Out of nothing, that All Loving Spirit created the universe and solar system, including Mother Earth. When She was a cold, lifeless rock, the All Loving Spirit blew life into Her, causing Her to spin and support life.
I live in the woods on a pond with my husband and young son and two dogs and dozens of other species above and below and all around us.
We breathe the common wind of the earth
no matter where we live, who we love,
what language we speak.
April, just around the corner, is planting month in my backyard garden—time to transplant the kale and broccoli seedlings that sprouted indoors, back when the snow outside reached almost to the top of the fence. (I live near Boston!) This is both a spiritual and an ecological practice, a time to remind myself of how deeply symbiotic I am, not only with the kale and broccoli but also with the earthworms that bring air into the soil, the bacteria that fix nitrogen in it, and the birds that will share the garden’s bounty throughout the year ahead. Gardening is also a reminder of my own power, as Rebecca Parker puts it, to bless or to curse the world.
I read somewhere that at least half of all the poems that have appeared in The New Yorker contain some image related to water. It’s true of the most recent issue I’m looking at: two poems are published in it, one of which is entitled “An Essay on Clouds.”
Universalist and Unitarian minister Rev. Thomas Starr King shared, in an 1863 sermon entitled “Lessons from the Sierra Nevada,”
I believe that if, on every Sunday morning before going to church, we could be lifted to a mountain-peak and see a horizon line of six hundred miles enfolding the copious splendor of the light on such a varied expanse; or if we could look upon a square mile of flowers representing all the species with which the Creative Spirit embroiders a zone; or if we could be made to realize the distance of the earth from the sun, the light of which travels every morning twelve millions of miles a minute to feed and bless us, and which the force of gravitation pervades without intermission to hold our globe calmly in its orbit and on its poise; if we could fairly perceive, through our outward senses, one or two features of the constant order and glory of nature, our materialistic dullness would be broken, surprise and joy would be awakened, we should feel that we live amid the play of Infinite thought; and the devout spirit would be stimulated so potently that our hearts would naturally mount in praise and prayer.
Today marks the first day of Climate Justice Month, the day we start thinking together about changing everything.
Our current crisis requires transformation. It’s less about changing a few individual behaviors and more about imagining radical new ways of living.
Six months ago you marched in New York for the People’s Climate March—in person or in spirit—and proclaimed that it is our moral charge to respond to climate justice. That it will take everyone to change everything. That now is the time for unprecedented collaboration across all of our differences, to save the world and ourselves.
Commit2Respond is an answer to that charge. It’s time for collaboration and collective action. Since September we’ve been growing, building connections, and sharing our ideas and wisdom.
Now we are ready to grow.
There is a potent stream running from the 50th anniversary of the civil rights struggle in Selma, through the fast-growing movement of Black Lives Matter, to our Unitarian Universalist-inspired Climate Justice Month, which begins on World Water Day this Sunday. The stream springs from stories of pain, resistance, and renewal, and it is enlivened by the truth that these stories are intricately and inherently connected.