In an interview with Derrick Jensen in Listening to the Land, the late Thomas Berry said, “If nothing is sacred, nothing is safe.” He was referring to those individuals who walk among us who can look at a forest and see boards of lumber (i.e., money) instead of seeing the holiness of the forest, or the trees. Is the Earth not sacred? That which gives us life, food, the air we breath, the water we drink? Right now, in the Amazon of Peru, an attack is being waged against the indigenous peoples and the forest by transnational corporations to extract oil. (http://www.survival-international.org/news/4706). No surprise considering the US and Peru signed a Free Trade Agreement not so long ago. Yesterday, The Washington Post published an article by Sarah Palin who is advocating for extensive oil and gas exploration in Alaska as well as large parts of the American West. (http://www.moveon.org/r?r=51618&id=16575-3211187-qBEREfx&t=5.) The oil industry is working overtime to defeat clean energy. This grieves me deeply. I don’t have the answer on how to supply the world with the growing demand for fuel and energy, but from what I understand we do have the technology to bring green, sustainable energy to market.
How do I take in all this information without living in hopelessness or despair? I allow myself to feel the pain of the world. My heart breaks. While in the same breath, the miracle is that I am simply awed by the wonder of creation. The light coming through the trees and the birdsong this morning moved me to tears. Listening to the coo-coo-coo of the mourning dove, we are one. There is so much beauty around us, we need only slow down and be present to it. For me, awakening to beauty is how we awaken to the sacred in the everyday. If everything is sacred, everything is safe. One of my favorite authors and voices for the Earth is Terry Tempest Williams. She writes eloquently about beauty, art, and the natural world. She asks the question “where do we find beauty in a broken world?” in her most recent book and discovers that “we find beauty in a broken world by creating beauty in the world we find.” Creating beauty, art, as a form of devotion to the sacred. This is my calling. What is yours? I believe we each have a gift that is uniquely our own that is asking to be brought forward during this planetary time. We need your gift. The world needs it. To quote the Buddha: “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”