This week I had our Cub scouts at my garden. They helped plant a native tree, planted seedling vegetables in the garden, and created a recycled soda bottle terrarium planted with basil to grow at home. Fun.
Whenever we engage the next generation in caring for Creation, we are planting seeds for future growth. Besides engaging with the plants, the boys had fun identifying various worms, caterpillars, larvae, beetles and other creatures found in the soil. They got to explore the garden and compare how things had change since their visit a few weeks ago -- the wonders of spring.
In talking with one of the moms I was reminded how easy it is to be discouraged, to feel like it is not worth trying to care for the environment. Why not keep consuming along with many in our culture until we all face dire consequences?
On reflection, my response would include 1) the joy the comes from connecting deeply with nature and caring for Creation 2) our stewardship is not dependent on the choices of others 3) each of us can make a significant difference 4) we are not alone. In every community there are people deeply concerned about the environment and willing to make personal sacrifices to protect our common home, Earth.
I'm finding opportunities every day in small and simple things I can make a difference. Every time I buy something I can make a choice to consume less. I can wear a sweater rather than turn up the thermostat. I can plant a garden for food and native plants for habitat -- feeding the creatures who share my corner of the world. I can look for ways in my church service to include conservation -- like teaching Cub scouts. I serve on the Board of our local watershed group and run their annual tree initiative. It takes a few days' work but is very rewarding as I think of oaks, maples, hornbeam, dogwood, redbuds, and other trees growing in my community. One at a time I've now disbursed 1,000 trees. These little seedlings don't look like much now but imagine the impact over time of that many native trees.
From small and simple things...