Be willing to be dazzled by Earth and your legacy will live on – Orange County Register

Our days come and go. The rain dances in puddles on the sidewalk until the wind blows the clouds away. Flowers, trees and shrubs blossom and grow. John Denver sang to us, “Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.”

And all of this in our ordinary days.

Have you ever stopped to think the same sun shone on Cleopatra, the same sky dropped rain on Galileo, and your great-, great-grandparents eked a living out of the same earth on which we stand?

It is awesome to be alive when we recognize how connected we are to history, to this present moment, and to the future. It is amazing to be a human being and know the relationship we have with our planet.

We arrive here so vulnerable in our ability to survive alone, yet as infants we are powerful enough to command the attention of everyone around us. We spend a lifetime growing and becoming.

When children are young, they are asked, “What do you want to become when you grow up?” Young adults are met with the question, “What are you going to be in your life?”

Somewhere along our journey, people begin to ask, “What were you?” as if our life was complete and there would be no more becoming.

Yet no matter what our age, our awareness of our impact on our world can continue to mature. Poet Mary Oliver put into words the feelings, hopes and affirmations inspiring us to continue to become: “Still, what I want in my life is to be willing to be dazzled – to cast aside the weight of facts and maybe even to float a little above this difficult world.”

If we can cast aside the weight of the facts and face the immense possibilities, if we maintain our mindfulness of Earth as both our inheritance and our legacy, we will see what is ours to become and to do. Then, just maybe, the future will record our era as a time of advancement. They will say we reached for things we thought were impossible, we created things that others said could never be.

We lived longer than predicted in a way that drew other people into their own lifelong growing and becoming. Each of us is responsible for our own way of keeping our Earth home healthy and sustainable for the future.

We can let our confidence rise to join groups caring for the Earth. We can take our own individual actions as we see in each moment what is ours to do. We can be amazed, dazzled and accountable our whole life long. So that perhaps a thousand years from now, a child may stand in awe that the very sun shining down on them was shining on us now.

The Rev. Linda McNamar is a Laguna Woods Village resident.

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