For now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. (Song of Solomon 2)
It’s been a beautiful spring and summer for taking walks around Sheridan. The pathway system and other accessible trails near town present many easy opportunities to observe and appreciate the day-to-day changes in the seasons and wildlife.
I’ve especially enjoyed walks in Hume Draw, hoping for sightings of the Wood Ducks, the Great Blue Herons, the Kingfishers and maybe some of the colorful songbirds. It’s always a treat to watch the muskrats traveling back and forth across the pond and to catch the turtles sunning on a log.
On one of my walks, it occurred to me that I’d been lax and wasn’t giving enough value to the more ordinary sightings. With the hope of seeing a rare or migratory animal or unusual blossom, I’d been missing the joy of things more easily attainable. I’d taken for granted the beauty of the Red-winged Blackbird and so many sparrows and swallows and even the lowly Robin. I’d fallen into the mindset of “go big or go home” and only had my eyes open to see the exceptional.
Too often, we miss opportunities because we don’t see the value of the more easily attainable. For example, it’s unlikely that we can individually fund the Community Shelter, but we can show our support for it by participating in the Empty Bowl soup feed and by letting our elected city and county leaders know that helping fund the human shelter is important to their constituents.
There are many other opportunities to volunteer or to help other groups in many other ways. It doesn’t take a huge personal commitment to make a big difference.
As another example of the value of the easily attainable, few of us have the training and opportunities to draft legislation, but we can write letters or talk to our elected representatives, thanking them for their public service and asking that they not forget about the people who are their constituents and need help to be safe and to get health care.
This is the mission of our faith:
To teach the fragile art of hospitality;
To revere both the critical mind and the generous heart;
To prove that diversity need not mean divisiveness;
And to witness to all that we must hold the whole world in our hands.
— William F. Schulz
Love is the spirit of this church, and service is its law.
This is our great covenant:
To dwell together in peace,
To seek the truth in love,
And to help one another.
— James Vila Blake
I am only one
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
— Edward Everett Hale
Roger Sanders is the Sheridan Unitarian Universalist Fellowship representative to the Sheridan Ministerial Association.