the stream of life and a needed “delegation for the four-footed”

For we free-flowing-rivers fans, I thought I’d pass along a poetic “stream of life” passage (contained in the following inspiring video For the Beauty of the Earth) and the related reading from the same UUI service last November.

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.”

Here’s the video link– hope you’ll watch

Here’s the reading:…….

From “The Sacred Depths of Nature”

By Ursula Goodenough

The outpouring of [the Earth’s] biological diversity calls us to marvel at its fecundity. All of us humans are but a tiny part of an enormous context. We are one of perhaps 30 million species on the planet today, and countless millions that have gone before.  We occupy, temporarily, the very last moment of the animal radiation; our species appeared only some 130,000 years ago and the cave painters 35,000 years ago. And while we animals were radiating, so too were all the other lineages of the biosphere, generating a veritable sunburst of the biosphere.

We are called to acknowledge our dependency on the web of life both for our subsistence and for countless aesthetic experiences:  spring birdsong, swelling tree buds, the dizzy smell of honeysuckle.  We are called to acknowledge that which we are not: we cannot survive in a deep-sea vent, or fix nitrogen, or create a forest canopy, or soar 300 feet in the air and then catch a mouse in a spectacular nosedive.

[In this spirit] Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation, spoke these words to an assembly at the United Nations:

“I do not see a delegation for the four-footed.  I see no seat for the eagles.  We forget and we consider ourselves superior, but we are after all a mere part of the Creation.  We must continue to understand where we are.  And we stand between the mountain and the ant, somewhere and there only, as part and parcel of the Creation.  It is our responsibility, since we have been given the minds to take care of these things.”

Onondaga Faithkeeper Oren Lyons is one of my contemporary heroes. His call for a “delegation for the four-footed” resonates.  He was an All-American lacrosse goalie circa 1950. As Bobby Kennedy, Jr. (Waterkeeper Alliance) has noted: “A strong defense begins with a strong offense“. 

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