Dear Friends – Greetings! I hope this letter finds you well.
On the calendar page of June, check out Monday the 17th. A note I placed on this date “Pope Francis calls on the developed world to make changes in lifestyle and consumption” refers to the 2015 publication of Pope Francis’s Encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home. A detailed and sweeping document, it was a clarion call to every person living on the planet to take swift and unified global action to face the urgency of our environmental challenges and embark on a new path for shaping the future.
His ideas are not radically new; Francis is synthesizing the work of ecologists, scientists, theologians and other great thinkers, but I find it remarkable for these ideas to be declared so powerfully by a person in his particular position of global influence.
He critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation, and holds that a truly ecological approach is also inherently social – it hears the cry of the Earth as well the cry of the poor, as well as that of future generations. Humanity does not have dominion over the earth, instead, everything is interconnected and all of creation is a “kind of universal family.”
The document highlights the role of fossil fuels in causing our climate crisis and on this point I’d like to share some community-wide actions Daily Acts has helped generate in Sonoma County. Ten years ago, they initiated a 350 Garden Challenge which led to planting and revitalizing 628 gardens to grow food, save water, conserve resources and build community. Through this annual Resilience Challenge, they’ve registered over 80,000 actions and projects during the past decade. Now setting an even more critical goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a 2019 Sonoma Climate Challenge was launched with a goal to have 500 households collectively reduce emissions of CO2 by 500 tons, by 2020. Six months to go, and I have no doubt they will do it! Please go to www.sonomaclimatechallenge.org or dailyacts.org to sign up if you are local; or to learn more about an outstanding community model of shifting to clean energy and low carbon living through the power of collective small actions, by a local branch of the universal family.
In the world of art, there is news to share of an upcoming exhibit. At the Moshin Vineyards Gallery, starting on June 22, my Earthloving photography will be on display through the summer. The theme is The Flow of Form… or, should it be …Nature’s Endless Song, harkening to John Muir’s quote: “Nature is ever at work, changing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another?” In any case – hills, water, sand, rock, grasses, flora, ice – an abundant flow of natural forms, will be on display at 10295 Westside Road near Guerneville, from June 22 – August 23. (for times: earthlovinglens.com or moshinvineyards.com)
A Reception will be held on June 30th, from noon – 4 pm. Quality wines and hors d’oeuvres, beautiful Russian River countryside, art and conversation – a great summer Sunday afternoon!
In this time when it too easily feels true that the age of climate panic is upon us, let Nature’s endless song hold us on a steady course to take heart and take action, too, in the best way we each know how. Thank you for receiving my words and images, which I scatter like seedcorn, for the cherishing of our Earth and our humanity!
EARTH – VESSEL – LAST BLAZE OF GLORY