“Saint Thérèse of Lisieux invites us to practice the little way of love, not to miss out on a kind word, a smile or any small gesture which sows peace and friendship. An integral ecology is also made up of simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness.”
This is from Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si” (Paragraph 230). It’s not one of his most moving or controversial passages, but I find it to be a prescription that is eminently doable. I think it’s Papa Frank’s theological way of saying the little things count. It’s something we can all do. It’s something we should all do.
On this Earth Day, I celebrate the little things around me. I rejoice in the many Six-lined Racerunner lizards scampering around the front porch. They were our first neighbors when we moved into this house. They remind me of all those geckos in the townhouse in Mililani Town. The Racerunners were just the vanguard of a host of amazing insects, reptiles, birds and furry mammals in my yard. I’ve been pursuing a policy of no pesticides, abundant natural plantings and little fertilizer to bring on this abundance.
On a grander, but still local, scale, we have the success of our Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve. This is a gem in Virginia’s crown that I was able to see come to fruition. I was reminded of this by a column in my local paper this morning by Hal Wiggins.
“The April 1 opening of Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve was a great event for the people of Stafford County and the world. The preservation of this 2,872-acre fragile ecosystem was an extraordinary effort that took over 15 years of negotiations.
Among the many important biological attributes contained within Crow’s Nest are 2,200 acres of mature hardwood forest, including two forest types that are recognized as globally rare by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Natural Heritage Program. There are 750 acres of tidal and non-tidal wetlands on the Crow’s Nest peninsula that account for 60 percent of all the marshes in Stafford County, and represent some of the best examples of diverse and intact wetland habitats in the Potomac River drainage, along with 21 miles of stream, riparian and wetland buffer.”
I already enjoy the area from my kayak. The canoe/kayak launch is less than thirty minutes from my house on our narrow country roads. What a joy it is.