By Sister Sharon Havelak, OSF
Whenever I think of care of creation, I hope Ken’s face will always come to mind.
I met Ken last Sunday at a Sacred Grounds Celebration, a gathering of folks who were part of a trial project of the National Wildlife Federation that involved church groups doing native plantings. We had a potluck supper and shared our stories. Ken was introduced at our table as an avid volunteer for a number of projects at his church.
I asked him what his favorite project was. He smiled. “I loved putting a rain garden in at my house.” An even bigger grin, “But I really loved working on the rain garden at church.” He paused a bit, then beamed, a huge, radiant smile, “But what I really like the best is putting in the mulch.” He then went on to explain in great detail the satisfaction he found in the process. His joy, the simple pleasure he took in this work, the beauty he found in the plants and the soil’s groundcover was absolutely delightful.
A few days before, I attended a special showing of the documentary, The Human Element. The movie explored climate change through the four traditional elements – earth, water, air and fire – and how they are affected by – and affect – the fifth element, the human person. The evidence was compelling, frightening even when seen all together. But the message was ultimately a hopeful call; while the effects of global climate change are dire, we have the power to change its course.
The change will take all of us, each doing our part. What we all need is the heart of Ken. It all boils down simply to a love for this Earth, the joy of digging in the soil and an appreciation for the beauty and goodness of mulch.
As I write this, it seems so simplistic. But, at its heart, care for creation is about caring for creation: loving its gifts, enjoying its beauty, respecting it, and doing whatever we can to preserve it.
As we said our good-byes, Ken asked if he could volunteer in our garden. Sure, I said; give us a call. I hope he does follow through. His contagious enthusiasm might rekindle our passion for the little things we can do to help our Earth and, just maybe, help us fall in love with mulch a bit, too.