Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletOctober 17, 2017

Earth Concerns News

Awakening to Good News for Our Earth by Sister Linda Neil, CSJ


Every year the HomeLand Committee chooses a focus on which to reflect. In this way, we hope, there is a theme that will catch your attention and build on a foundation of information and experience for the year. For last year we spotlighted the program, Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream. The vision of the program is to encourage people to commit to “bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on the planet as the guiding principle of our times”. To me this focus is really another way to express our Chapter focus on Communion. All that communion and transformation call us to is alive in this passionate purpose: the creation of a human consciousness that is one with the whole web of life.

As I reflected on the Awakening program this year, I began to think about my dream for Earth. My dream is for sustainability, for humans to employ the gifts of Earth in a way that does not pillage and ravage, in a way that seeks the common good. I long for a human presence that takes its cue from the economy of Earth: there is no waste. So I dream of a society that does not use items and resources once - only to send them to the landfill. I dream of biodegradable products that would give nutrients back to Earth or that would become food for other species, or of products that would be 100% recyclable. I hope for a human presence that is just to the whole web of life, a human consciousness that realizes that all landforms and life forms have rights. I dream of a time when the bottom line won’t be only profit but the self- fulfillment of every creature. In that self- fulfillment is a deep sense of beauty and wonder.

These dreams may seem like bubbles in a briar patch. But actually they are coming to fruition in our world today. The news of course is not all good, but it is not all bleak either. So that brings me to the focus for this round of HomeLand articles- we will be focusing on some of the Good News that is happening for Earth today and how we can support and extend that Good News in our daily lives.

The good news that I would like to focus on in June is all the farmers’ markets that are in our area. Farmers’ markets are such a boon for sustainability, for taking back and choosing our food instead of having agri-business make our choices. Farmers’ markets deliver foods in biodegradable packaging (natures’ own!). Farmers’ markets are such fun! They are filled with delicious veggies, cheeses, wine, eggs, fruit, preserves, yogurt and recipes for preparation. You can actually speak with the person who grew the food. You can get real dirt on your hands. You can smell earth on the veggies. You can taste a real, juicy tomatoes and sweet carrots! Farmers’ markets are celebrations of nature’s diversity and human ingenuity and hard work. Check out http://www.albany.com/guide/shopping_farmmarkets.cfm or http://businessfinder.syracuse.com/NY-Syracuse/Farmers-Market. At the Provincial House, Morrison also serves locally grown food in season. The proliferation of farmers’ markets and locally grown food is good news! When I go to our market in downtown Schenectady or to Lansings Market out in Duanesburg, or to pick up our CSA share at the Regional Food Bank, I have that great feeling that I am doing something significant for my own health, for my community and for the whole web of life in our area!