7 Days of Gratitude – The Earth

I’m extremely lucky in where I live. It is my second time here and it continues to take my breath away when I walk out the door. It is hard to imagine sometimes that this is on Earth, and not from some fantastic tale (fun fact: The author of the Never-Ending Story is from this town). I’m also lucky that this isn’t the only place I’ve been where I’ve been amazed by its beauty.

The Earth is beautiful. Not just in ways that are aesthetically pleasing, but the whole clockwork ecosystem of it. Millions of years have brought about a whole host of creatures, plants, other things, and minerals, mutually involved in great cycles of creation, decay, change, and stability.

Of course, humans are messing that up. Named stewards of the earth by God, we mostly treat it with all the neglect that we can. We are fickle, greedy, negligent stewards; taking as we see fit and leaving the waste for others or no-one to clean up after us. But maybe we can change that. People seem to be coming around to the notion that the earth ought to be preserved, at least if it doesn’t inconvenience them too terribly. Maybe someday soon we’ll be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to preserve for our children’s children. There will come a day, not too far hence, when beautiful vistas will pale in importance to getting food and water, because of our neglect.

But, in the meantime, there are beautiful places in the world. And we might save many of them. So enjoy the earth’s beauty now and use it to inspire you to find ways to prolong it into the future.

Comments

  1. Maybe someday soon we’ll be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to preserve for our children’s children. There will come a day, not too far hence, when beautiful vistas will pale in importance to getting food and water, because of our neglect. But, in the meantime, there are beautiful places in the world.

    So well said, John, in both the depressing realism of this statement, and its call to take joy and express hope nonetheless. (For myself, I hope I can visit Bavaria someday.) Thank you!

  2. The most beautiful places I have seen are rocky mountains, particularly Yellowstone National Park, and Canadian Rockies, Plitvice lakes national park in Croatia, which is a series of lakes down a valley, joined by numerous waterfalls. The Great Barrier Reef, and beaches of Queensland, and African wildlife parks.

    Hopefully Biden will be able to get his agenda on climate change through to preserve our world. It needent be a sacrifice, it could be part of the recovery.

    America had unprecidented fires this summer, Australia burned twice the area America burned, last summer, with the loss of incredible amounts of wildlife. Global warming is here, America needs to be part of the solution.

  3. Billy Possum says:

    Thank you, John. I recently discovered I share a good deal of my genes with modern Bavarians, so your post was all the more meaningful.

    In times – like now – when the beauty of the environment belies the damage we’re doing, I find more beauty in the long view. On the scale of geologic time, our ecological genocide seems a smaller (though still ugly and permanent) part of a beautiful pattern of abundance, extinction, and radiation. I will dearly miss American Chestnut and coral reefs and wild salmon, but I also know that the beautiful fruits of evolution are, as Darwin put it, endless. Now I just have to do my part to live forever so I can see it.

  4. I’ve always preferred the green of Europe to the brown of Southern Utah. But I’ve spent the last few days in remote Southern Utah, where my kids have climbed nature’s rock goblins and where I’ve introduced them and the wife to the wonders of slot canyons, and even here in this brown and dreary desolation there is a sense of beauty.

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