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Joyful Flyers

Ring-billed Gulls

One day last week, I was distracted during reading because of some flickering movement outside of my window. I would look up and see only sky so I finally put the book aside and watched the window in hopes that the cause would recur. Soon there were several ring-billed gulls sailing past. Their frolicking flight was a joy to watch. Sometimes they landed in the Garden Court below my window but they did not stay long. They were perhaps on a scouting trip, trying to find the sites with the juiciest worms. Their menu does include some foods preferred by humans as people who picnic in this area have discovered.

We live in a region with a rich trove of natural beauty: lakes, forests, streams, and bogs and the wildlife sustained within them. These are a blessing, enriching our lives and a responsibility for our stewardship. Climate change is a reality and does threaten the existence of the kind of biodiversity we value. I reflect often on my own lifestyle. What are the ways in which I can reduce my negative impact on the environment, my carbon footprint? The simpler my lifestyle, the better for our environment. This same simplicity can also be a path to wholeness and holiness.

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“Our humanity comes to its fullest bloom in giving. We become beautiful people when we give whatever we can give: a smile, a handshake, a kiss, an embrace, a word of love, a present, a part of our life...all of our life.”
–Henri Nouwen