Endings and Beginnings

Posted by on Mar 23, 2017 in neighborhood | No Comments
Endings and Beginnings

On my walk through Grant Park Monday morning I came across something sad: an old white pine I had always loved had met its end. Evidently it had snapped during last week’s heavy winds. The park’s crew had already sawed it up and cleared it from the bike path. It had stood at the edge […]

The Letter

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017 in wholeness | 2 Comments
The Letter

Forty years ago today I wrote a letter that changed my life. Well, really, it was the one I received six days later that changed it, and in the forty years since then there has not been a day in which I haven’t remembered with gratitude the man who wrote it. I was a sophomore […]

Canyon Song

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in land, wholeness | No Comments
Canyon Song

During the 2016 centennial year of the National Park Service, the agency produced a series of short films celebrating not simply the beauty of the parks, but their growing value to people of all races and cultures. In some cases, the existence of a park also is vital in helping people to rediscover and preserve […]

Evening Prayer of the Woods

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in land, neighborhood, wholeness | No Comments
Evening Prayer of the Woods

If the year were compressed into a day, it would be evening, with its lengthening shadows and descending chill. The trees of Grant Park are girding themselves for winter; they have let go of most of their leaves, and the musky odor of decay rises up from the ground as the beeches and maples and […]

The Daunting Moral Calculus of Climate Change

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in cosmos, land | One Comment
The Daunting Moral Calculus of Climate Change

Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality. Fossil fuels powered the Industrial Revolution. But the burning of oil, coal, and gas also caused most of the historical increase in atmospheric levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. This increase in greenhouse gases is changing Earth’s climate. So […]

Elegy for the Arctic

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in land, wholeness | No Comments
Elegy for the Arctic

The Arctic sea ice summer melting season is over, and 2016 is in a statistical tie with 2007 for the second smallest ice extent ever recorded in the satellite record. The Arctic finished the melting season with a loss of more than a million square miles of sea ice compared to the average from 1979-2000. That’s […]

The Great Affluence Fallacy

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in cosmos | No Comments
The Great Affluence Fallacy

One of the most powerful aspects of culture is its ability to shape our assumptions about “the good life.” Over the past couple of hundred years, Western societies have embraced a model that increasingly has favored free markets and personal freedom as essential to a good life. Nowhere is that more the case than in […]

The Calling

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in wholeness | No Comments
The Calling

I ran into God on a gravel road, or should I say God ran into me, as I was standing still at that moment. It was late in the summer, balmy and dry, and out from the green canopy of the woods there came a calling. The aspen started it, murmuring of other woods, cellulose […]

When the Sockeye Salmon Go Home

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in land | No Comments
When the Sockeye Salmon Go Home

There is still so much beauty and wonder in this world, and one of the great natural wonders is the annual migration of salmon in Alaska. The various species each have their own internal calendars, and so from May through October you can see one or more of them making their way upstream to their birthplace, […]

Pope Francis’ Trinitarian Ecology

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in cosmos | No Comments
Pope Francis’ Trinitarian Ecology

In honor of the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ groundbreaking encyclical on the environment, I am re-posting the three pieces I wrote shortly after the encyclical was published. As with other encyclicals, it will take years, even decades, to get a complete picture of its global effect within the church and in the world at large, but […]