As a spiritual practice and an opportunity to intentionally reflect upon our role as keepers of the earth, each week Earth Keepers will email out a passage from an environmental/spiritual writer accompanied by reflection questions and thoughtful prompts. In selecting these passages, Earth Keepers will draw from a wide variety of spiritual traditions as well as focus on various modern environmental issues and challenges. Each week’s reflection will also be accompanied by an important environmental fact as well as practical tips for improving ecological stewardship and our upcoming events. Our weekly reflections offer a great opportunity to grow in your own self-reflection and understanding of modern environmental issues and ethics as well as act as a great discussion tool to use in your spiritual community.
2020 Weekly Reflection Archive
January 6th “The advance needs in dynamic power, in modern times, has been even greater than ponderable things. Even two centuries ago, the energy available for humanity’s work was mainly limited to that obtained from domesticated animals. —Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, Man and the Earth (1905)
January 13th “Conservation is a state of harmony between humanity and the land. Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left.” —Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
January 20th “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.” —Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 27th “We are built up out of the ground quite as literally as the trees are, but not quite so immediately. The vegetable is between us and the soil, but our dependence is nonetheless real…We are rooted to the air through our lungs and to the soil through our stomachs. We are walking trees and floating plants.” —John Burroughs–The Grist of the Gods, Leaf and Tendril (1908).
2019 Weekly Reflection Archive
December 2nd “It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
December 9th “We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. And this has been based on the even flimsier assumption that we could know with any certainty what was good even for us.” Wendell Berry
December 16th “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.” Jane Goodall
December 30th “We don’t see the effects of climate change every single day with our own eyes. We just see this great big ocean–we assume that it’s too big to be wrecked. It’s easy, as a consequence, to dismiss the urgency of the challenge.” President Barack Obama
November 4th “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.” John Muir, The Yosemite, 1912
November 11th “The deeper the solitude, the less sense of loneliness, the nearer our friends.” John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra, 1911
November 18th “Land, water and vegetation are just that dependent on one another. Without these three primary elements in natural balance, we can have neither fish nor game, wild flowers nor trees, labor nor capital, nor sustaining habitat for humans.” Jay Norwood Ding Darling
November 25th “I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with noting definite- only a sense of existence.” Henry David Thoreau
October 1st “Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead God set before your eyes the things God had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?” St. Augustine
October 8th “Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people. We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the dew in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man all belong to the same family…Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.” Chief Seattle
October 15th “But ask the animals, they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; And the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know, that the hand of the Lord has done this; In God’s hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being;” Job 12:7-10
October 22nd “No one ought to advertise in the midst of landscapes and scenery, in such a way as to destroy or injure their beauty by introducing totally incongruous and relatively vulgar associations…the principle on which the thing is done is, to seek the most attractive spot possible–the wildest, the most lovely, and there, in the most staring and brazen manner to paint up advertisements…It is outrageously selfish to destroy the pleasure of thousands, for the sake of a chance of additional gain.” P.T. Barnum, The Humbugs of the World, 1866
October 29th “Be a nuisance when it counts. Do your part to inform and stimulate the public to join your action. Be depressed, discouraged, and disappointed at failure and the disheartening effects of ignorance, greed, corruption and bad politics — but never give up.” Marjory Stoneman Douglas