April 2018

Jungle vine pale green of spring                                 Autumn, gold and molten bronze

Calls rabbit, mole from sad iron cold below               With light that pierces eye and heart

Summer, fat, full, pasture yellow                                And winter, mystical in pallor

A valedictorian sweet with song                                 Stripped of trappings, waiting rest

                                        Shoot and bud and wide abundance

                                        Sere and husk and mud and crystal

                                        Time and change and dark and day

                                        World of wondrous wide-eyed hues

                                        For earth and all she shelters

                                        Care, thanks and praise

April’s theme is transformation, a fitting theme for spring. If you have shopped for paint recently you may have noticed the often fanciful names associated with each tint. I composed the lines above several years ago, as a participant in an exercise called “paint chip poetry.” We drew randomly from a collection of paint chip names and other words, and then attempted a poem using all the words drawn. Later, the leader took one line from each person’s work and created a group poem. It was a process of transformation – using our creativity, assembling disparate elements to create one collective and several individual poems. The efforts were imperfect – in some places odd, in others lovely.

Earth Day has been celebrated every year since April 22, 1970. It was a step in an ongoing transformation of the way human beings, especially those in the industrialized world, understand their relationship to and responsibility towards the health of the rest of life on our planet.

The USNF Climate Action group has been publicizing and promoting the drawdown effort, a list of actions that people can take to address climate change. I’m grateful for their commitment and efforts in the necessary transformation of our understanding, grateful that they continue to remind us what we can do. You can learn about drawdown at www.drawdown.org.

Spring is on its way, and with it a heightened awareness of the beauty of the earth, a heightened gratitude for it. For earth and all she shelters – care, thanks and praise.

I am blessed to be your minister.Janets signature