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I Believe in Nature


A friend shared with me at church yesterday, the affirmation below.   Titled “I believe in Nature” , it was written by Florence Emmons, in the 1970s .

I found it a love note of stunningly beautiful and universal proportions.

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I believe in the orderly processes of the universe, which hold the planets in their orbits and control the activities of microscopic cells;

I believe in the pervading, impartial forces of nature through which destruction is made constructive;

I believe in the ever-changing beauty of the natural world, which brings joy and inspiration to many people;

I believe in the healing and restorative power of nature without which all living things would be in great jeopardy;

I believe in the profound lessons which nature teaches: lessons of struggle and adaptability, tenacity and purpose, endurance and growth, patience, balance, and the inevitability of cause and effect;

I believe in the hope and faith which nature gives to the observant through predictable, compensatory certainties: light after dark, warmth after cold, peaceful calm after lashing storm, and always the miracle of the sun, the rain, and the seed.

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Some might more comfortably replace the word nature with God, and that stirring sense of the greatness of the world in which we lives takes on somewhat different, but equally integral connotations.

We cannot elevate nature above people,”  Edna Mattos, leader of the Citrus County Tea Party Patriots said recently in an interview regarding efforts to expand protection of manatees in Kings Bay in Citrus County, FL. “That’s against the Bible and the Bill of Rights.

Among the many things Ms. Mattos overlooks or misunderstands, is the fact that “people” and “nature” are inextricably connected. We are nature,  the Bible and the Bill of Rights notwithstanding .  Where go the manatees goes us.

I love Ms. Emmons affirmation, particularly the nuanced last stanza: I believe in the hope and faith which nature gives to the observant… Not just to anyone, but to “the observant”.

Ask and it shall be given. Seek and you shall find. Care and you shall be cared for, and find  joy and inspiration, healing and restoration, life lessons, hope and faith in the world around us.  Neither the Bible nor the Bill of Rights can promise us more than that!

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