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Resurrections, Mother Nature, and Rediscovering Alleluia!

By Katie Gould

Two Sundays ago we celebrated Easter in ways that we have not previously had to do. On a normal Easter Sunday the Alleluias would have been dug up, the cross flowered, and baptisms celebrated. The day lilies would be opened up and stretching out as if even they were shouting Alleluia! 

This year, Easter still came, of course, but the experience feels drastically different. The feelings and moods that Lent typically carries with it seem to linger as we continue to abstain from normal day-to-day functions, social gatherings, work and school, and even Eucharist. If I allow myself to dwell on the details of this particular Easter season, in the context of an entire world’s battle against COVID-19, I can’t help but begin to feel overwhelmed with grief.

One way I have resisted getting stuck in those feelings of grief is by getting outdoors with my family and intentionally noticing people and places where I can identify signs of hope and beauty, moments where I can shout Alleluia!  And, although Easter wasn’t celebrated within the walls of our church buildings this year as we are accustomed, outside, Easter springs up all around us.

The skies seem brighter, the grass greener, the flowers more vibrant, the air fresher, and even streams in the middle of the city clearer. Noticing these things, I am reminded of the great impact we have on the earth that God both gifted to us and charged us to tend and steward. As our movement upon the earth’s surface changes and lessens, it appears that a sort of resurrection has begun in nature. Some degree of healing seems to have begun on an earth that has been abused, drained of resources, and taken for granted, treated as though it would continue to sustain us through the eternity that is time. 

The wounds persist though, and perhaps are a necessary reminder to us of the roles we have played in the injustices that have been inflicted upon Mother Nature. They help us foster a more conscious mindset regarding how we treat the earth in our daily lives. It took a Pandemic to see these changes begin to take place, but I am hopeful that there is something to be retained of this time that we are forced to limit our footprint on earth.

On our latest walk, I noticed that Reagan (3) and Izzy (6) kept stopping every minute or two to gaze upon something seemingly ordinary. Every leaf, flower, rock, and stream, no matter how big or small, was the most amazing thing they had ever seen. As we continued on and I called for them to follow along and move forward, I realized that what they were doing was something we all should do more of. Children have the most amazing natural ability to recognize beauty and goodness in creation. I am convinced that their awe comes from their ability to see the life that continues to flourish in nature despite the chaos that surrounds it — and I wonder how I might contribute to the healing of this beautiful planet with which God has entrusted us, no matter what kind of chaos may unfold in the future? 

There are big changes that we can make in our homes and in our lifestyles that would be life-giving to the environment. But today, my contribution is as simple as stopping and honoring the occasions in nature that point to resurrection, that stir up a deep desire within me to let out a joyful Alleluia!

For the Conservation of Natural Resources, BCP p.827

Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth,

you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom

and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one

may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet

to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through

Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Katie Gould is a Junior MDiv student, from the Diocese of Texas. She moved here from Houston, TX along with her husband, Chris, and their two children, Izzy and Reagan.


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