Sally Palmer

Rev. Dr. Sally Palmer

Guest columnist

When I measure the extraordinary effects of COVID-19, I cannot help but think of folks who lived in a different time. That difference is profound.

We in the computer world think that life revolves around us, because it is simple to manipulate technology.

But as we approach yet another Earth Day, we should affirm that God’s plan is bigger than our computer screens. As Rabbi Heschel advised: “Our goal should be to get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted.”

This year, maybe we can “look at” simple things that give us life — like breath, water, and food. If COVID-19 gave us existential anxiety, maybe reconnecting with the “Source of Life” calm our existence.

Each of our religions teach that God has a different plan. These are some common beliefs:

1. The Source of Life, known through Nature, is from a Creator.

2. We are inherently interdependent. We are part of the web of life.

3. The beauty of nature opens a window for us to experience the holy.

4. It is our awareness that offers a sense of connection to the whole.

5. Spirituality asks for reverence, not exploitation.

And so I celebrate Earth Day, not just with those who celebrate with me, but with all those generations past who depended on the land more than the grocery store.

Maybe on this Earth Day, we can put down our cell phones and take a walk just to listen to the birds, to look at the Wyoming sky, to take a deep breath, to feel the ground beneath our feet.

Earth Day can teach us of very basic relationships. We are lucky just to be alive.

In spite of what we’ve done or who we are, the earth still revolves around the sun. The rain still falls. Plants still grow. As a UW botanist taught his students: “A seed never makes a mistake.”

Maybe, just maybe, even with COVID-19, we are part of a bigger plan.

All I Needed to Know I Learned from the Earth

Everything changes. Ecclesiastes

Gravity works. Newton

The wind whispers…there is more. John

We need roots. Murchie

All things are connected. Chief Seattle

Let the dandelion keep your smile. Thich Nhat Hanh

Grass sings a perennial song. Whitman

Great and small give life to each other. E.O.Wilson

The sun also rises. Hemingway

(by Dr. Sally Palmer, of the Wyoming Interfaith Network)

Rev. Dr. Sally Palmer has taught “Religion and Science,” “The Power of Limits,” and “The Artful Wisdom of the Universe.” She chairs the On Sacred Ground Team of the Wyoming Interfaith Network.

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