Quote of the Day: Thomas Merton, who became a Franciscan brother as a young man during his early days at St. Bonaventure University, and remained so for the entire time that he was a Trappist monk at Gethsemane, revealed his affinity to St. Francis in this comment: “How necessary it is for monks to work in the fields, in the rain, in the mud, in the clay, in the wind: there are our spiritual directors, and our novice-masters. They form our contemplation. They make us as stable as they land we live in.”
Commentary: We can benefit from listening and working with nature as a model, as a mentor, as a wisdom-keeper. In this moment in time when it seems that neither our climate nor our governance is very stable, it may be worthwhile to turn to the land and its enduring place-based cultures for guidance.
Suggested Action #5: Work a few hours each week not only on the land, but on behalf of the land. In the most direct manner possible, see how that time sweating and getting your hands dirty in the more-than-human world opens you up to other possibilities of how to endure, survive and thrive in face of uncertainty. Take time out today at your desk to write down a few ways that the specificities of your life in this time can gain insight and tenacity by being engaged with the land itself.
Gary Paul Nabhan aka Brother Coyote is a professed member of the Ecumenical Order of Franciscans, a graduate of the Living School, a conservation biologist, orchard-keeper and story-teller.