by Terri MacKenzie, SHCJ
April 18, 2022
Each day, before we pray, be mindful
of our place in space and time,
truths our forebears couldn’t know.
They thought they stood on flat ground —
flat like my family’s tan linoleum map.
I walked on hogs and bridges and
radio wires symbolizing cities, all flat.
They pictured sea to sea, flat,
fall off the edge, flat.
We’ve flown past horizons and over rainbows.
We’ve seen our sacred sphere from outside it,
spinning freely in space. Held firm in Love (and gravity),
each morning we, too, hurl into sunlight
and away as evening approaches.
They thought stars marked the floors of heaven.
We know some stars are galaxies.
Light from one took 13.5 billon light years
to reach Earth. Because the Cosmos
is expanding, it’s already
over 33 billion light years away!
They counted time in Bible years.
We stretch our brains to grasp
our start in stardust — billions of years
of stars exploding, forming elements that
metamorphosed into Earth.
In their turns came microbes and anemones,
dinosaurs, mammals and humans,
communication, organization, art,
beliefs, destructions and renewals.
Earth became a garden in our galaxy,
a riot of color and design,
on whom our lives depend.
Today we mourn the loss of trees
and land, glaciers and breathable air.
We mourn extinctions of red frogs
and red-plumed woodpeckers,
plants and trees, fish and birds with
tongue-twister Latin names.
We mourn lives lost in fires and floods,
polluted air and rising seas.
No ancestor knew such threats.
If we don’t respond right now,
together and in force,
someday new creatures
will discover our parched fossils
and wonder why we chose to die.