Friday, July 11, 2014

This Beautiful Earth—Carolyn R. Wilker

At this time of year, when the garden is growing and flowers around my yard are blooming, it’s easy to appreciate beauty.  I take photos at various times in the season when one kind of plant succeeds another. And seeing other gardens and natural areas to adds to the enjoyment of creation.  

Folliot Sandford Pierpoint might have been a gardener too, or at least an appreciator of nature for he wrote extensively about it.

Pierpoint, born in 1835 in Bath, was both a well-educated man and prolific in song writing, particularly for the church. He wrote the hymn, “For the Beauty of the Earth,” in 1869 (melody by Conrad Kocher). Only one of the many hymns he wrote, this one has appeared in as many as 483 hymnbooks.

1 For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies.

While the refrain has changed over time, the essence of the verses offer praise to God for his creation, but also for his gifts to us, including Jesus’ sacrifice.
Yet it seems that not all appreciate the earth or feel the need to care for it. I feel sad when I walk through an otherwise beautiful park and see garbage lying around, cigarette butts ground out or just tossed on the walkways, as well as fast food packaging seemingly dropped in place. Sometimes public garbage cans are so overfilled during a big event that workers cannot keep up with it, and then a strong breeze lifts some of the items out of the trash can and spreads it around. We cannot blame the wind; it was meant to blow and cool us. But wait…
Maybe you hear a lecture coming on about taking the garbage home or  making sure you’re not overfilling a can. No, not exactly, but there would be nothing wrong with doing either.
Then again, what is all in that can? 

What can you do to be a good caretaker? Many people are already concerned and acting, yet a refresher is often a good thing. This list presents a small number of the things you (and I) can do:

·         Follow guidelines on recycle programs and reduce garbage at the curb each week
·         Purchase only what you need, and whenever possible, with the least amount of packaging.
·         Make reusable lunch bags and water bottles a priority whenever possible
·         Put garbage in a can provided or take it with you to dispose of later
·         Dispose of paints and other potentially harmful substances at appropriate sites
·         Be mindful of waterways and refrain from dumping garbage there; fish and water creatures need clean water too.

For car owners
·         Car pool when possible
·         Keep car well-tuned so it runs more efficiently
·          Limit idling time

There’s so much beauty and goodness, and we must be mindful of the earth. We’ve been put here to look after it. (Genesis 2:15) We are the earth’s keepers and we can do our part to keep it beautiful. Let’s echo the hymn writer who speaks of “the beauty of the earth and glory of the skies.”

Carolyn Wilker is an author, editor and storyteller from Ontario, Canada.


Peter Black said...

Carolyn, thank you for sharing your evident delight in and appreciation for nature, and pressing our stewardship of the earth. I'm with you on the respecting nature and recycling. I'm bugged when we take time as instructed by our municipality to separate our paper waste from plastic, glass and metal-can waste, only to see the recycling trucker dump them all into the same compartment in his truck. Also, we use water filters for our drinking water, but there's no recycling icon, and presumably no recycling facilities for the relatively thick white plastic containers of the filtration material. Likewise, for the popular single coffee blend cups. Etc, etc. (Hmm, I do go on, don't I!) Keep up the good work. :) ~~+~~

Tracy Krauss said...

thanks for the tips

David Kitz said...

I'm probably most irritated by litter in the park -- irritated enough to pick it up and put it in the garbage nearby -- the same one that was that was ignored by the person who left their deposit. We can all do our part. Thanks for the reminder.

Glynis said...

Oh how very true. Some great points, Carolyn. Thanks for this. We do have a responsibility to keep the environment as God intended - beautiful. Yet we continue to ignore so much. Like Peter, I could go on and on, so I won`t even begin - but I do remember a time that my children were awakened to sloth and bad attitude - we were at a local fast food place. A car full of young people, who were parked next to a garbage can tossed their garbage out on the parking lot. As they were pulling away I called out to them to pick up their trash please. After a mouth full of expletives and a `they get paid for picking it up` retort, they sped off. My kiddos were little at the time but we proceeded to pick it all up and the conversation we had after that remained forever etched in all our minds. Now, 20 some odd years later, they still remember that incident and are big proponents of picking up litter - even though it`s not there`s! It has to start young! And a lot of young people are really good at being responsible. It takes a few bad apples. . .

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Thank you, Peter, Tracy, David and Glynis for your comments. I struck a chord among you. I have also been known to pick up litter. I think, Peter, not all the sites are at the same level of development for handling the recycling but in our municipality I have seen the workers put different items in separate areas on the truck. I don't know what their organizational model is. Mom used to take our picnic garbage home if there was no receptacle for it and I tend to do the same rather than pile it on an ever-growing heap.

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