To the Cottonwood Tree

To the cottonwood tree near my work:
I listened to your brothers and sisters
as their leaves sang in the breeze by a river .
I met your cousins in the Grand Canyon –
they gave me shade on a blistering day.
I know your kin well. They are my friends.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Advertisements

my country is killing people

my country is killing people
separating parents from children
building walls to keep “them” out
and to keep “us” in
my country is killing people
in the streets because of the color
of their skin, their sexual orientation,
and their religion
my country is killing people
in their newspaper offices, churches,
at concerts, schools, and malls
because guns are more important
my country is killing people
in an economy that gives tax
cuts to the rich, and denies access
to health care for the poor
my country is killing people
as it kills the environment with coal
trains, fracking, oil pipelines, pesticides
and greed

and i am ashamed

– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Day 446

We’re 446 days in. I’m starting to feel a little detached –
like a spectator watching a farce unfold on a stage – a show –
as if this has nothing to do with me or my world.
And the tragicomedy unfolds in front of us now –
simultaneously pitiful and horrifying and maddening
and over-the-top wacky – Dr. Strangelove on ergo-
genic acids. The audience makes its predictions about
what will  happen next. What new woe will he sow?
Will he fire more people? Will he put himself above the law?
Will he start World War III? Will our debt continue to grow?
Will our environment go down the toilet? Will we lose
our social security? Will he twitter us some new foe?
“He certainly believes he has the power to do so.”
And the audience waits with ‘bated breath to see
what will happen next in our very own unreality expo.
A train wreck in slow motion. Slim Pickens riding
the bomb in Earth’s last rodeo.
Once we had the chance to save our planet.
But we let it go.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

 

We Could

We could have a world where
children – all children
went to school and were safe
and didn’t need to worry
about losing their lives while
they tried to get an education

We could have a world where
all people – of every gender and race,
religion and age and political party
were treated equally, without bias
or discrimination or prejudice
or bullying, or bigotry

We could have a world where
everyone cared about protecting
the environment and the creatures
who share Earth and no one
tried to take more than they
needed, and people shared

We could have a world in which
we pooled our resources to feed
the hungry, and heal the sick,
and shelter the homeless, and
educate the ignorant, and reach
for the stars

We could
We could
We could

– Karen Molenaar Terrell

earth NASA

“The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Let’s put this another way…

Okay, let’s put this another way: How much chance do you give the fox in the chicken coop? A week? Two years? Four? Do you let it take over the coop, hoping that it will somehow turn into another animal maybe? Maybe it’ll become a hummingbird or something? Just give it another month and it will become a gold finch?

Is the fox suddenly going to become this really cool upstanding dude who believes in climate change, wants to help protect the environment, wants to allow the press to do its job unhampered, wants to support public education and not privatize it, wants to protect peoples’ health care and give everyone access to the care they need to live, going to help people retire in dignity, going to get off Twitter and actually try to serve the people who elected him…?

 

A Healthy Environment and a Most Hospitable Tree

Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great… He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches… He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth…  The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies…  O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches…. thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good…  Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. – Psalms 104

 Down the road about a quarter of a mile  there is rooted a most hospitable cedar tree.  A pair of garter snakes have made their home at its base, a happily buzzing community of busy honeybees have created a hive in its middle, and in a hole further up the tree’s trunk there is a bird’s nest.  The cedar tree has its own little ecosystem dwelling in it…

There are lessons to be learned from this tree. Note that it’s embracing the life living within it. The snakes, bees, and birds, and the tree are all living in harmony with one another. There’s no battle going on there – the bees aren’t taking up more space than they need for their hive, the snakes and bird aren’t fighting over trunk rights. There’s no evidence of greed here. Nothing trying to get more than its share of what it needs to survive.  It is A Peaceable Kingdom of a Tree.

And isn’t a peaceable kingdom what we want for our whole world? Don’t we want to see all of creation living in healthy harmony?

Our environment seems to be in real trouble right now. The Earth’s water, land, and air are polluted; our food has been genetically-altered from its natural state; we have rising seas and rising temperatures.  We appear to have gotten ourselves in a real mess.

How can we, as expressions of Life and Love, help heal our environment?

Working to help heal our environment has been an on-going demonstration for me. I’ve been involved in environmental causes since I was a youngster. I’ve written letters, signed petitions, marched with signs, boycotted corporations that seem to be working against a clean environment, written blog posts, taken photos, recycled, had No Car days, picked up trash, and tried to become conscious of the affect I have on the world around me.  These actions have all been the human footsteps I’ve felt led to take to help heal our environment.

But I’ve found the best place for me to START when I’m looking for healing is in my own thoughts – my internal environment.  As Jesus said  (Luke  17), “…the kingdom of God is within you.” I believe we carry around our own heaven, and our own hell in our thoughts. And to help heal myself and the world, I believe I need to be diligent about casting out the hell-thoughts of greed, selfishness, fear, ego, pride, cruelty, hopelessness, and guilt in my own consciousness – because those suckers are, for sure, not going to help me or anything around me.  And while I’m emptying my human consciousness of the hell-stuff, I’m filling my consciousness  with the heaven-thoughts of love, joy, kindness, generosity, hope, wisdom – these are the thoughts that bring me near to God, Love, and bring healing.

I’m not going to ignore the erroneous actions that come from greed and cruelty, or try to appease the greedy and corrupt in any way.  Mohatma Gandhi said, “A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” And  I refuse to let the greed and selfishness that seem to be in the world have any power over me – I’m not going to let someone else’s greed make me afraid, or take away my hope, or have any control over me whatsoever.  I’m not going to allow some corporation’s dishonest engineering or thoughtless polluting have any effect on my health or well-being. I refuse to let the corruption in politics stop me from doing my job of expressing God – of being kind, wise, and loving.  I refuse to be led astray from my job of working out my “own salvation.”

Are we without hope? Is it too late to heal our environment? Are we already experiencing “the end of the world”?

Nope. I believe that “nothing is impossible to God” – that it’s never too late for a victory over evil. Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom. Love is enthroned. That evil or matter has neither intelligence nor power, is the doctrine of absolute Christian Science, and this is the great truth which strips all disguise from error.”

I believe that as we transform and purify our thoughts – our outward environment will be transformed and purified, too.

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth…And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. – Genesis 1

Celebrating Earth!

“EARTH.  A sphere; a type of eternity and immortality, which are likewise without beginning or end…To material sense, earth is matter; to spiritual sense, it is a compound idea.” – Mary Baker Eddy

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth…And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” – Genesis 1: 31

For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” – Isaiah 55: 12

***

Today I celebrate all of my Father-Mother God’s beautiful creation – all the glories of forest and meadow, mountain and sea, desert and valley and dale. I celebrate the infinite expression of God, Good – the beauty, harmony, and life that are evidence and proof of Good.  Today I recognize and appreciate The Artist’s work, I rejoice in it, take note of it, and re-commit myself to protecting it.

***

“Nature voices natural, spiritual law and divine Love,  but human belief misinterprets nature. Arctic regions, sunny tropics, giant hills, winged winds,  mighty billows, verdant vales, festive flowers,  and glorious heavens, – all point to Mind, the spiritual intelligence they reflect. The floral apostles are hieroglyphs of Deity. Suns and planets teach grand lessons.  The stars make night beautiful, and the leaflet turns naturally towards the light.” – Mary Baker Eddy

Presence is needed to become aware of the beauty, the majesty, the sacredness of nature…You have to put down for a moment your personal baggage of problems, of past and future, as well as your knowledge; otherwise, you will see but not see, hear but not hear.  Your total presence is required.” – from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle