I’m teaching our Passover/Easter retreat in a beautiful retreat center nestled against soft sand-colored mountains opening to the wide plain of the Lucerne Valley. It’s Spring, and the desert is coming alive with wildflowers tossing in the blue sky breeze, little songbirds murmuring lullabies at twilight as the full moon rises, snakes slowly rousing from their winter sleep.
I’m hoping to catch a glimpse of a kingsnake, racer, or even a gopher snake, but snakes are shy. They slip away, flashing out of sight. It’s amazing how they manage without arms or legs, stuck on their bellies forever, sliding so gracefully – liquid life! Here in nature, I marvel at how all creatures find their way to live. Like us, they adapt. Yet, as our habitat changes faster than the pace of evolution, all of us in existence are challenged. And many of us, too many of the species on earth, are unable to exist; extinct, or barely hanging on to astonishingly creative ways of being.
How will we meet this challenge? According to the UN study, “The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment,” 60% of the biosphere has already been ruined “to meet human demands for food, fresh water, timber, and fuel.” How can this be? We have arms and legs! As humans we are simply one of what Darwin called “endless forms most beautiful and wonderful.” With our arms and legs, our mindfulness and heartfulness, may we meet the challenge of our survival — with love and reverence for our grand Mother Earth.
Image Credit: T. Goodman