Monday, April 23, 2018


At the local UU church yesterday, besides it being Earthday, it was my wife's and my day to supply snacks, do after service kitchen clean up, supply flowers, and offer a meditation during the service. With dogwood trees on our property blooming in abundance, the flowers were easy. For the meditation, I wanted to draw from my own experience with regard to Earthday. I attempted to juxtapose three things.

On the first Earthday, 47 years ago, I stood with 5 or 6 friends in a field near Hastings College (in Nebraska) and shared words about how it had finally come to pass that folks were beginning to understand the importance of the environment. We shared a sense of hope, even though there were so few of us from campus at the event.

Secondly, I noted that this is the one hundred and eleventh year of  plastic. Plastic began with the invention of Bakelite, which was composed of formaldehyde, derived from wood alcohol, phenol derived from coal tar and wood flour, derived from wood.  (They made other versions of the stuff using fillers of a more toxic variety.) Nowadays, plastic from even harsher petrochemical ingredients is everywhere and I noted that as I mopped the floor in the morning, the bucket was made of plastic, parts of the mop were made of plastic, cleaning supplies were in plastic bottles and plastic, everywhere in excess, is imposing a huge burden on all life and even enters the cells of our bodies.

 I noted that with plastics having had a fifty year head start, Earthday has a long ways to go to catch up. We need much larger numbers of people to recognize the needs of the planet.

My  third point was that in this month's Wooden Boat Magazine, it tells how to make your own wooden bucket. Would that not be a better alternative to the plastic ones we buy so cheap and that along with so much plastic crap causes undue burden on the earth and all life? In making our own buckets, the development of skill and integrity would take place.The effort would lead us out of the depression and anxiety that ail modern life. I finished with a poem by Langston Hughes, "In Time of Silver Rain."

So what's a man (or woman) to do? We carry on and make the best of things. We attempt to remember those things that are most important.

Make, fix, create and adjust your existence to learn lifewise.

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