Honore' invites us to reflect on the one word I chose for 2020. I chose tender. Lately I've been thinking of it in relationship to the earth and climate change. Poet Mary Oliver wrote masterfully about the tender soul of the earth. This poem is a beautiful reflection on the interdependence of all things on the earth.
Some Questions You Might Ask
Is the soul solid, like iron?
Or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?
Who has it and who doesn't?
I keep looking around me.
The face of the moose is as sad
as the face of Jesus.
The swan opens her white wings slowly.
In the fall, the black bear carries leaves into the darkness.
One question leads to another?
Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg?
Like the eye of a hummingbird?
Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop?
Why should I have it and not the anteater
who loves her children?
Why should I have it and not the camel?
Come to think about it, what about the maple trees?
What about the blue iris?
What about all the little stones, sitting alone in the moonlight?
What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves?
What about the grass?
Mary Oliver, House of Light. Boston, Mass.: Beacon Press, 1990. p.1
So one more time, I resolve to do my best to live tenderly in this world, to focus as much on the reduce and reuse as the recycle side of the triangle, and to voice my opinion to elected officials and those running for office. There are no easy answers. I live in a country that is dependent on fossil fuel consumption and a society driven by consumerism based on scarcity. I have many questions but none as eloquent or as tender as Oliver's.