It has been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic upended our lives. During this difficult time, we have found solace in nature, and appreciate more than ever that our earth is a sacred gift from God.

In his encyclical, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis warns that we are facing “global environmental deterioration” and implores us to act (Laudato Si’, #3). He states, that we “have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breath her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.” (Laudato Si’, #2) Pope Francis reminds us that Jesus “often stopped to contemplate the beauty sown by his Father, and invited his disciples to perceive a divine message in things.…”(Laudato Si’, #97)

As we await the coming of spring and savor the increasing sunlight, let us reflect on what God is saying to us when we hear the birds sing and observe flowers pushing through the snow.

Poet, Mary Oliver captures this sentiment in her poem, “Look and See” from her book, Why I Wake Early.

 

Look and See
This morning, at waterside, a sparrow flew
to a water rock and landed, by error, on the back
of an eider duck; lightly it fluttered off, amused.
The duck, too, was not provoked, but, you might say, was
laughing.

This afternoon a gull sailing over
our house was casually scratching
its stomach of white feathers with one
pink foot as it flew.

Oh Lord, how shining and festive is your gift to us, if we
only look, and see.

Caring for Our Common Home: Our Earth is a Sacred Gift from God