A reflection from our Executive Director
On Thursday, I saw a vibrant pileated woodpecker in my yard. He was magnificent, with a big bright red plume m atop his head. He visited us quite a while, as he flitted from branch to broken branch feasting on the sumptuous treasures he found. Below him were the ravages of a hurricane. Sixteen trees broken or uprooted, pried into passable place by compassionate, generous chain sawed neighbors and their brute human force. The yard looked like a lumber camp. But up above, flew one of nature’s magnificent beauties, feverishly head-hammering the newly broken boughs, nourished by the change.
Nature can be our inspiration, our friend, and our joy. It constantly reminds us of the rhythms of life, the beauty and mystery of the natural world, of the cycles of our existence. Nature can also teach us humility, that as hard as we try, there are things that are beyond our control, that lack predictability; elements that dwarf our efforts; forces that dominate beyond conceivable possibility; that trounces us into that humble human place as we are forced to accept the inevitability of constant and sometimes even gut wrenching change.
Nature reminds us that with the beauty can come destruction, that the rhythms are not always kind or helpful, that tragedy is part of life as well as beauty. This week we have all experienced this other side of nature, some of us more directly than others, but none of us can escape its power. And who among us can’t be touched by the human fortitude in its response. Let us gather collectively in prayerful intention, gather our hearts, our minds, and our compassion, for those who have, and continue to suffer as a result of this week’s storm. Let us lend our hands to rebuild, and our hearts to heal. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Rev. Craig Hirshberg