Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Legacy

photo of sunrise rainbow
© harrington
Welcome! Are you enjoying Summer? I have another question for you: do you offer thanks for the beauty you can experience every day? Who do you thank? Can you make a rainbow? Do you even slow down to appreciate one? The second of the four freedoms is the Freedom to Worship. Whenever I think of that freedom, my first thoughts go to Aldo Leopold and The Land Ethic:
... Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild, and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech.

These wild things, I admit, had little human value until mechanization assured us of a good breakfast, and until science disclosed the drama of where they come from and how they live. The whole conflict thus boils down to question of degree. We of the minority see a law of diminishing returns in progress, our opponents do not.
I have become more than a bit of a pantheist, I'm afraid. My worship often takes the form of noticing and being thankful for the beauty and wonder I can experience if I only slow down and pay attention to what's happening outside. My form of prayer is to remember to say "thanks!" In My Minnesota, we still have much to be thankful for. Not as much as we had, and we need to work toward more restorative development and agriculture, but we still have much worth saving and appreciating. One of the questions we face is whether we agree that it's worthwhile to save the 2% or so of the native prairies we have left. Do we really care enough about the quality of the water in our lakes and streams to make them fishable and swimmable again. Do we respect our country and our downstream neighbors enough to clean up the excess nitrogen and silt we're discharging to Lake Pepin and the Gulf of Mexico. I'm sure you've heard about the Iroquois Great Binding Law about considering the impact on the seventh generation. That's another way of thinking about the legacy you want to leave. One way or another, you are going to leave a legacy. It can be one of stewardship or one of rapaciousness. Which it will be depends almost entirely on who or what you worship. You're free to choose. Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served daily.