Skip to main content
RMP

Perspective Sabbath Journey [RMP]

By March 31, 2020No Comments

Part 1

Part 2

We are Connected

For many years I have said that “I come from a beautiful place, and one day I will return to a beautiful place.” My name is Teresa Ellen, a “harvester of light” from the dunes of the Sleeping Bear, beside the waters of Lake Michigan (Michi Gami), and the flowing river called Muskegon, where once the white pine was heard in the wind, and the rainbow trout shimmered with life, and the lake effect snowfalls sheltered life until the Spring lilacs breathed forth new revelation.

We are all connected in one household, oikumene in Biblical Greek—one household of God. Even if the mountain, body of water, river we come from are not the same.

Science tells us that molecules, atoms in relationship, continue to experience that relationship even when they are broken apart. For example, if you were to remove an atom from a molecule and move it to the other side of the earth, and then begin to test, experiment, heat or interact with the remaining molecule, the part (atom) that is nowhere near, would respond as if it is still in relationship.

As I write this, there is a virus making its way through our human community. Whether we like it or not, we are all one household even in a quarantine. What we do or leave undone has consequences—whether we experience those consequences firsthand—someone or some part of creation does. It is past time that we acknowledge the wholeness of all that God calls good. (Genesis) And name the sin that is indifference to this Holy gift.

We are all connected. Everything is connected.

Ancient peoples lived by these connections and relationships. They watched the stars (think Magi), paid attention to the ocean currents, noticed the migration of the birds and whales, and discerned the message they were bearing, (Like Noah and his doves not returning) there is life beyond our shores.

The Maori set out in “waka,” small boats, to follow the birds, whales, winds and currents to find those new lands. They discovered Aotearoa (New Zealand). When they came ashore, they found a bird sanctuary. With no mammals, no predators present the birds evolved in ways that made sense. No predators. Wings became unnecessary, birds became flightless. A mystical bird ecosystem became a story of terrible consequence brought on by human intervention. Our species brought rats, mice, cows, goats, sheep, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, possums, and stoats. Moa are extinct—a huge ostrich like bird. Kiwi whose feathers have become fur-like are endangered. They have no way to defend themselves or fly away. (VisitZeelandia.com)

We are all connected. Everything is connected.

In our own time, the Great Lakes have endured invasive species transported in to this precious, naturally protected fresh-water sanctuary. This is another story of our human short-sightedness’ and reckless endangerment of twenty percent of the world’s fresh water supply, and the creatures who once lived in them with balanced harmony. I suggest reading “Death and Life on the Great Lakes” by Dan Egan for more of this story.

Unfortunately, the governing bodies bordering the Great Lakes have not come together to keep other invaders out, such as zebra mussels and quagga mussels, which are altering the eco-systems. The cost of this invasion is ongoing. Municipalities are spending millions and millions of dollars to stop the mussels from closing off water intake pipes. The ever more clear, blue waters, caused by the mussels filtering out all the microscopic life forms, look beautiful but are starving other species to death. The lakes are becoming life-less.

We are all connected. Everything is connected.

The Great Lakes zebra and quagga mussel problem has now spread by way of trailering pleasure boats to lakes, streams, and rivers throughout the Midwest. They are even now is Lake Mead, AZ. The irony of this is that Western States, to protect their water resources, will stop and search any boat being transported. There are severe fines if mussels are discovered. And, still the Great Lakes governing bodies do not use their power to truly regulate ballast on ships coming into this life-giving system.

We are connected in one household. There are consequences, blessings and curse, that come from our actions or non-action. Awareness of the unique, precious gifts of creation and culture bless us. The role of governance is sacred—stewarding the life that has been prepared for us will bless the whole household.

The Maori introduce themselves by the location of their birth. It is a way of naming their family in relation to the earth that gives them life. They know the birds, whales, winds, currents, forests, land as life-givers. They know ongoing life depends upon mutual respect, giving and receiving blessing.

My name is Teresa from the dunes of the Sleeping Bear, beside the waters of Lake Michigan (Michi Gami), and the flowing river called Muskegon, where once the white pine was heard in the wind, and the rainbow trout shimmered with life, and the lake effect snowfalls sheltered life until the Spring lilacs breathed forth new revelation.

That’s my connection. I ask you, “what is yours?”

X