swirling on

Friday I flew from Syracuse to Detroit to Orlando, journeying solo because my life's adventure partner was presenting at the Compost Fair for Earthday. I like traveling alone for most of the same reasons I have always liked going to movie theatres alone. It feels like an adventure. It's easy to pretend you are anything, and easy to imagine the anonymous public perceives you the same. And with no one to share the event moment-by-moment, I snatch fleeting images and eavesdrop my way into conversations for a story to share later on, which I otherwise would miss.

Looking out the Detroit airport windows, I scanned thousands of feet of concrete runway to a faroff line of leafless trees. Then, looking down, I saw a lone oak leaf blown right under the window. How far had it traveled, carried across the barren blacktop, to land there at my feet? Would it dry and slowly decay to skeleton leaf, battered by bare sun and elements, never to be nibbled by worm or added to insulate a squirrel's nest? Or would another draft carry it further to fate unknown?

In Florida, I spent some time on the pier over the lake by my grandparents' house. Dieter and I were happy to find several alligators a couple days in a row. Two were dark black behemoths, basking their tough armor in the sun. Others were smaller, gliding through the murky water, shiny jade bodies, blinking emerald eyes at the surface. All good reminders of God's power and mystery, and our human fragility and ignorance.

What I learned from playing Scrabble with my family: "Bam" and "Vroom" are not words, but if you play nearly anything with confidence, it will slide, and if you question anything too much, it will always look wrong.

Great blue herons are far bolder in Florida than when they are around here during their summer migrations. I saw them stand and stalk their slippery prey, and pull silver fish from the water in their sharp beaks.

Certain Christians believe that environmental issues and concerns are stemming from a pagan belief system. To me, this means that we need far more Christians confronting the problems of our ecosystem, Christians who are able to defend the earth from a Christ-centered philosophy.


sharon said...

Ahhhh, that was almost as filling as having a conversation with you... I am excited to see you soon!

Sandy said...

That last bit caught me off guard a little, and so I feel I need to ask, what is the preferred alternative to a Christ-centered philosophy? I think I've probably misunderstood (but I do want to say that I agree that no Christian has the right to ignore the stewardship entrusted to us to carefully and mindfully care for the earth while it is still our home.)

I love you, and your picture (did you draw that?)

heidiann(e) said...

Sharon - aw.... thanks!

Sandy, sorry - that was a little too cryptic.

That was my response to hearing a preacher say we shouldn't worry so much about our impact on the environment. He said "we're not that powerful" to cause global warming, and to think we are comes solely from an earth-worship mindset. My initial response, as a Christian who is concerned for ecological issues and feels that my Christ-centered faith supports this, was anger. Then, I also felt that maybe this evangelical has simply not conversed enough with solidly strong Christians who hold faith AND concern for the earth as its stewards.

So, I was saying that Christian faith supports earth care, and so does science. But I think that this preacher was accustomed to hearing environmental concerns only from pagan-faith and scientific viewpoints.

I hope that makes more sense.
And, thank you. But the sketch I just found on the web, and I was wanting to add color to my post!


Sandy said...

Okay!!!! Yeah, i was super confused for a minute. Now I get it, and agree that that man was showing his ignorance. It seems very Bibilical to me that we take total resposibility for all of the creation we've been entrusted... and if not, we'll certainly one day be held accountable for her demise.

Now that the distruction of this earth, however unintentional and unknowing it has been up to this point, has come to the forefront, I'm looking for ways for our family to make it better, day to day. I appreciate having such a dear friend with a deep love for nature as a resource (especially when I find it hard to find time to research on my own) :)

Hilda said...

I had tried to comment, but apparently didn't save it--I was also angered by that preacher's comments. Shouldn't we as God's children, who have been given the charge to take care of the earth, feel even more responsibility to be concerned about the impact we make on the earth? Such concern, to me, is about loving what God has created; it is not part of a pagan belief system! I'm glad you care so much about creation, Heidi, and I agree with Sandy that the preacher was speaking from his own ignorance.

Abigail said...

Amen to your last paragraph.

(And thanks for the window into your vacation.)