In a country once forested

The young woodland remembers

the old, a dreamer dreaming

Of an old holy book,

an old set of instructions

And the soil under the grass

is dreaming of a young forest

And under the pavement

 the soil is dreaming of grass.    (Wendell Berry)

And we, what are we dreaming of? Dare we dream of a world re-finding its limits and its humanity, working together to restore dignity and livelihood to all in a world of gross inequality and encroaching hunger and misery? a world where creation can flourish and humanity re-find its health? humanity is getting sicker every day along with our common home. As part of creation, full of poetry and beauty, can we walk together to restore harmony and a common future? Pope Francis, for one, is asking us.

One of the pioneers of agro-ecology , Pierre Rabhi, writes `as in the heart so in the earth’. Pope Benedict XVI writes, `the eternal deserts of the world are growing because the internal deserts have become so vast.’ How do we begin to restore green life to the desert and with it the flourishing of plants and animals, both internally and externally? Many despair at living in a consumerist, materialistic society with its over-masculinisation and worship of competition, and where market share, profit and control by the few has so much power. But we can become seeds of the new way finding a space of silence, being present to where we are, the earth beneath us, the people around us. Without blaming anyone and losing our illusion of control, we can do our best to be grateful for everything, awaken the wonder of the gift of life and so cultivate the sense of the sacred around us. We can find a well of deep silence where the new web of life will be formed. We can realise the God of life is with us,` Presente’ as they say in Latin America.

`It is the natives, the wretched of this earth, who are breaking out of their reservations and are now called upon to reinvent the very concept of the human ‘(Sylvia Wynter) Many of the indigenous peoples are the first defenders of the land and the water, suffering terribly as a consequence. Awake to what is happening in the Amazon and elsewhere, the indigenous peoples and the Church can work together as equals, caring for the earth and the community of life. This means not erasing ancient traditions, languages and ancestral wisdom especially in educational systems; this means untying the effects of colonialism and globalisation, together, and perhaps for those who are able to divest in mining. (

 `We are water, we are earth, we are fire and we are air- we are in a web of life that is connected to other communities… there are other communities that also co-exist and we must listen to them. What we ask of humanity is that we all listen to the voice of the land, the air, the water. They are talking and we must listen to them…’ says Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic defender of the land and people who recently won the Romero Human Rights Award for defending the Quiche people from hydroelectric projects in Guatemala. Let us try to return the four pillars, earth, plants, animals and human beings to the sacred circle of kinship, each needs water light warmth and breath. During this Easter time we are reminded that Jesus breathes on us, a shalom full of all that nurtures the fullness of life. Let us make peace, purify our hearts from resentment, jealousy and blame, and listen. You too will understand that nature offers her gifts for the profound wellbeing of all, and not for the making of money.

Jessica Gatty r.a.


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