Safeguarding people & plants

Sitting in the Quaker Garden on Sunday, some of us in the sunshine and some in the shade, I thought how alike in some respects people and plants are. 

Some plants thrive in direct sunlight, others prefer shade. Some plants survive in drought or desert conditions and others in tropic rain forest or with their roots in water. They have so many different forms and colours; some are robust and adaptable whilst others are fragile and sensitive. Some plants are under extreme threat, olive trees and ash trees for example. Other plants are taking advantage of the changing climate to expand their range. 

The same can be said of people. We have adapted to many different types of environment. We can also move from place to place. At least some of us can. Others find their mobility strictly limited, and not just because of disability, but sometimes because of the decisions and actions of other people. We may look and sound different, because of our varied cultures and ancestry, but every life matters. Particularly those lives that have been systematically exploited and oppressed over generations. So, Black Lives Matter, White Lives Matter, Children’s Lives Matter, Women’s Lives Matter. And the life of plants, animals, fish, birds, also matter. 

Coronavirus has revealed a lot about the state of our world, as has the climate emergency. Much is disturbing and challenging, but there are also signs of hope. We need to learn how to safeguard people and plants that are at risk. 

I realised, out in the Quaker Garden, that when we meet indoors we are sheltered from feeling the movement of the wind. But perhaps we are also sheltered from the touch of change and hope.  Can we learn how to live together in respect and mutual care; respect and care for each other as people and for life forms that share this wonderful planet earth?

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