Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
It is so easy to experience the glory of God in the garden for there is always an abundance of birds, animals, insects, flowers, shrubs and trees as well as vegetables that He created. Perhaps that is why I write about it so often!
Some while back we took coffee in the garden with our neighbours and their 2 year old son. The young lad was naturally inquisitive as all children are at that age. He wanted to find a ladybird. So I helped him search the leaves and plants for the elusive insect. When we eventually found one his little face lit up as he watched the tiny creature race across the leaves before spreading its wings and flying off. He was disappointed that it flew away and so I suggested we search for another one. But ladybirds were no longer interesting. A snail had attracted his attention instead! God’s Creation is amazing, just look at the delicate patterns on the snail shell or consider the tiny organs sustaining the ladybird. And notice that each snail, ladybird and flower is unique, just as we are; for He also made the inquisitive little boy and the old man who huffed and puffed as he bent over the plants to help him in his search. There is an old hymn that says: ‘He made their glowing colours, He made their tiny wings’. From His unbounded love for us God provides the wonder of His creation for us to enjoy.
How then should we respond to that gift given to us with unconditional love? In the very first Chapter of the Bible we are told that God made us custodians of His fragile earth and all that is in it. (Genesis 1:26-29) Yet we do not seem to be playing that role very effectively since our lives and actions are driving climate change, which is already having a devastating effect on our planet. To take just one example, in April 2019 Arctic sea ice reached a new record low extent. In this month it averaged 5.19 million square miles, 479,000 square miles below the 1981 to 2010 long-term average extent. That is roughly the area of Spain and more than five times the area of the UK. Unless we do something to stop that change now, much of the world will be under water very soon.
We must take our responsibilities seriously for if we do nothing there will be no ladybirds or snails to fascinate our grandchildren, nor gardens in which to see them. Laudato Si!
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years