I don’t understand. And I don’t think I’m meant to. The trees. The rocks. The skies. The lakes and the rivers. Yes, particularly the water.
What don’t I understand? The why of it, I suppose. I’ve been thinking about god lately. A new stage of reflection about the whole matter of a greater force. Embarkation, at least. And the only thing I can come to is that any force that could create this world is essentially unknowable. The craftsmanship of an ancient shoreline, the ambition of a river… it is of a scale and beauty so high above any human creation that it indicates a plane of existence we are not equipped to comprehend.
Though that’s not to say I should not try to know it, or at least to admire the work. But I have no confidence that my questions will provide answers beyond more questions.
But when we rip apart the forests to make toilet paper, smash the rocks to make bullets, cloud the skies so children can’t breathe, pollute the water to power the machines that rip and smash, it seems safe to assume that this is not the way to admire the handiwork.
If there is some god above or below or more likely within, and if that god has created this Earth that is our home, it seems the only suitable worship is to bow down before that which it has given us. Trees. Rocks. Skies. Water. Loving the sacredness of our planet seems like a suitable form of benediction.
There is another reason I feel such prayers are necessary. It’s more personal. And that’s the realization that I love this Earth because it is part of me. And I have a particularly frightening love for the parts of it that I know well. The St. Croix. The lakes of the north country. The trout streams. I have become infatuated with it. The idea that, in my lifetime, the trout streams could become too warm for brookies, that the great stands of jackpine in the north, the soft clumps of cedars, could be replaced by oaks or maples, that my children and my grandchildren might never know those same rivers and woods that I love… it’s more than I can even fathom.
And I believe that if this tradition is lost, if this thing which has been passed down for millenia is finally extinguished, that there won’t be much meaning in human life.
So that’s my recent thoughts on the environment. This Earth, our cathedral. Our legacy, uncertain.
* This post inspired by the participants in Blog Action Day.