Winter brings intricate crystals tumbling quietly in a showery white veil toward the ground, speckling my hair.
A vivid, glistening tree stands like an imposing, beautiful green tower in the den that is situated in front of the picture window for neighbors to enjoy. The fresh minty scent of the ornate tree wafts through the air.
A cozy fire in the hearth, embraces me in its warmth and light.
Childhood memories encapsulate me like a caterpillar in its cocoon.
Bursting with excitement, I hold onto my sled and glide speedily down powdery hills. The whoosh of the crisp, tingly winter air brushes my face, and I feel a sense of complete freedom.
Sitting at the kitchen table, I sip a mug of hot, steamy chocolate, with tiny marshmallows floating on top, sometimes burning the roof of my mouth.
Outside, thin naked trees are lined up like matchsticks. Their bony branches hold empty nests, disheveled and lonely. The feathered fowls have flown south.
Jagged walls of icicles hang from the eaves, barring my view through the window, a reminder of the bitter cold tidings of the elongated winter.
Today, I had a break from working on the publishing process/steps. My family watched Ben Hur together. My sons had never seen it before. What a wonderful movie to see during Lent and just about two weeks before Orthodox Christian Pascha (Easter). 🙂
The past three weeks, I’d been sick with a stomach upset/virus (two of the three weeks), feeling run down, and then the allergies/sinus issues started up. After all, it’s spring now.
So, today was special.
Not only because my family sat down to watch a classic movie together, but also because I finally got out on a short walk, enjoyed the fifty-something-degree sunny weather. In the midst of my walk, I came upon (and worked my way around) several inspirational chalk messages by kids on the sidewalk in my neighborhood.
Thankfully, I had my cell phone with me, and I felt compelled to take pictures.
I hope your day is full of beauty, love, joy, peace, and big smiles.
Overall, I believe many things happening to the environment are our doing. When we do good things for life on the planet, good things happen. When we do bad things, there are consequences, consequences of our own doing.
Only we are to blame for taking more than we need (greed). We think since we were given charge over all living beings and the planet, we decide who/what lives or dies and how to treat the Earth (pride). We can destroy animals’ habitats as we like and not face the repercussions.
We do this in a myriad of ways: wars, over farming, over fishing, poaching, mowing down of rain forests, polluting the air, water, and soil with toxic chemicals like Round Up’s glyphosate and other deadly poisons like neonicotinoids that have been causing massive deaths of honey bees.
Then there are oil spills and tossing plastics in our oceans, rivers, waterways as if these are our personal trashcans. And it ticks me off because one of my pet peeves is LITTERING. Why anyone would think a body of water is a dumping ground for his or her own trash is beyond me. It’s careless, lazy, and cruel.
On October 29, the World Wildlife Fund released their newest data on the loss of animals. Between 1970 and 2014, we’ve lost 60% of our wildlife. These include “mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians” (Davis and Walsh).
What is the cause of this tragic loss? Us. Not the Earth doing its thing. Us.
In the article from the WWF, it states, “The top threats to species identified in the report are directly linked to human activities, including habitat loss and degradation and overexploitation of wildlife.”
Perhaps this isn’t news to you. You’ve known about what’s happening with animals all over the globe. And you are one of many people who are trying to do what you can to support the lives of God’s creatures. Kudos. We do try to do our part.
I knew of recent animals that had gone extinct, like the black rhino (heartbreaking) in 2011, and the announcement that bumblebees are now on the endangered species list. But I had no idea 60% of wildlife had been wiped out in the last 40 years. Devastating.
WWF’s executive director of science and conservation, Mike Barrett, said in a Guardian article, ““We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff. If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.”
That’s a pretty devastating message.
Recently, I saw a beautiful ad that Iceland banned as being too political. Below is the video via you tube. It’s not too political. It’s TRUTH.
The truth is shown in that little minute and a half ad. The truth that there are only 7500 orangutans left in this world, losing on average a thousand a year. This ad needs to be out there for people to see.
Check your food products. If they have PALM OIL listed, consider not purchasing it. The orangutans’ habitat is being destroyed for palm oil. These poor animals have lost their food and homes. It’s killing them off. So please read the ingredients on the foods you get to make sure you’re not supporting their extinction.
Two more pieces of data from the Living Planet Report for 2018 that was echoed in the ad above: “Species population declines are especially pronounced in the tropics, with South and Central America suffering the most dramatic decline, an 89% loss compared to 1970” and “Freshwater species numbers have also declined dramatically, with the Freshwater Index showing an 83% decline since 1970.”
What have we done to help keep God’s creatures alive and well? The WWF said that the creation of the US Endangered Species put in place in 1973, has helped 99% of the listed endangered species to be saved from extinction.
What else can we do to help? Wildlife and biodiversity issues have to stay as one of our top concerns.
Little things my family does is we don’t use straws at home or at restaurants because of the plastic problem in our oceans and other waterways. We try and buy recyclable and biodegradable items. We don’t use harmful pesticides on our yard. We don’t litter anywhere.
My family donates to certain organizations, but we don’t specify which ones because in our Orthodox Christian faith, we aren’t supposed to announce what we give for the good of others, but do so privately.
All of God’s creation matter on this Earth. He assigned us to take care of this planet, and we need to step up and do that. He’s counting on us.
“Love all creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand within it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things.” – Starets Zosima from the novel, The Brothers Karamazov