Monday, March 28, 2011

Challenge #19 - Respect for All Life

I spend probably more time reading and studying than I should.  Within me lives a starving appetite that demands answers to the mysteries we humans don't understand.  I've been told more than once in my life, mostly by my dear mother, that I shouldn't 'think' so much.  Well, for me, that's not so easy to do.  It's feels like an untamed horse that just wants to run free, at high speeds, going places its never been before.

One of my brain's favorite places to visit is the Smithsonian.  It is one of the websites that has the power to bridle my mental energies while I'm right here in my own home stall. 

The Earth, and all of its components, are one miracle after another.  I've said it many times before that Mother Nature is perhaps closer to me than any other deity.  My heart hurts when the Earth hurts, if that makes any sense.  When I see wildlife cover being ripped out, when I see entire timbers torn down and plowed into farmland, or when I see our rivers being polluted by factories......well, all of this raises some pretty dire thoughts in my head.  Where are we headed?  Will there come a time when people will only read about a tree or a pheasant or a fish and not know what they actually look like? will our soil actually be soil, or will it turn into some kind of chemical landscape?

This morning's news is finally revealing that Japan's soil and water his highly contaminated with high radiation levels.  This is nuclear stuff, people, and yet their government has been down-playing this catastrophe like someone accidentally spilled a gallon of milk on the floor.  C'mon, world, let's see this for what it is.  Very deep horse pucky.

Some days I wonder if it's my age that causes me to feel like our world is going to hell, or if it's because the media does such a masterful job of dumping it all into our livingrooms?  Has the world always been in this degree of unrest?  Probably not to this extent, because aren't we at a juncture in history that hasn't been visited before? 

Instead of allowing myself to get riled and swallowed up in anxious fears, I tend to stick my head in places where I can learn about the way our Earth came to be, and I feast on the countless wonders that make up our world.  If I allow myself to think about the birds and fish that suffer and die because of the man-made oil spills, well, I think I'd probably loose my caboose.

One of my favorite online haunts is The Dynamic Earth at  I can amuse myself for hours, steering my mouse and pressing computer keys to drive me deeper and deeper into the bowels of our immense universe.  My love for the earth, the animals, and plants comes from some Supreme Source, and I try to figure out where and what that Source is like.  I'm not one who buys into the Big Guy sitting on a golden throne in a gated community.......I'm kinda sure it's a whole lot bigger and better than that.

We have two trees in our yard that are slowly dying and need to be taken down.  One is in front of our front window and the other is outside our kitchen window.   We've put this off now for two years, but we both agree that old age is taking them down, not us.  It's time to plant new.  Man's arrogance has us convinced that we have dominion over everything and can use and abuse, but I have a different way of interpreting those biblical words.  Perhaps having dominion over something means that we have a responsibility to care for rather than mistreat.

When our two nephews were about two and four years old, they were at our house the day we planted two little evergreen trees in our back yard.  We have pictures of them playing with the garden hose as their uncle watered the newly planted trees.  That was some thirty years ago, and now both the boys and the trees are all grown up and taller than we are.

We all grow side-by-side with the plant and animal kingdoms.  I pray that we humans reverently interpret our place on the planet as being one of co-existence, and not one of domination and destruction.