NEWS FROM GREEN SANCTUARY SUBMITTED BY: MICHAEL DRENNAN

When Bret mentioned his sermon on simplicity, I agreed it made a fine
theme. Simplicity acts as a promise, one compelling action. The increasing
volatility of our weather, adverse impacts on shipping, farming, real
estate and public safety hint at the need to live more simply. We can use
less fuel; we can buy less stuff, and so generate less waste. We can
consider closely our wants and needs. Look and look again at what we
really need – bottled water, individual serving sizes, another shopping
bag, another shirt, another exotic vacation, another house, a bigger
house.

Simplicity it seems starts with simple questions, simple choices, simple
words. Do I need to drive to work; turn up the thermostat for comfort;
keep a closet full of Alcohol Ethoxylate, Perchlorethylene or Nitrobenzene
just to clean the house? Simple alternatives are usually at hand. Whether
it be taking the train once a week or recognizing the cleaning power of
oil, vinegar and baking soda – simple words for simple cleaning –
opportunities to live simply are always on hand.

Not all simple choices are made simply of course. Living comfortably
without turning up the thermostat in winter means pajamas, robes and
slippers – or better insulating your home. The latter choice isn’t simple
in execution of course. It means contractors, estimates, quotes,
financing rebates scheduling etc etc. Catching a train or bus means
tracking its schedule, awaiting its arrival. Having made enough simple
goals you may notice the big projects they sometimes hide. Perhaps you’re
suspicious of them. Home improvement isn’t synonymous with fun after all.

Simplicity is a noun. Like a promise it can hang there, mid-air, between
two people, hang lonely in a crowd, remain stranded somewhere between now
and then, sometimes for years. Like a promise simplicity can also steer,
give a clear sense of the end product of the ensuing choices. Polish your
wood with olive oil and orange juice; try it sometime. The smell is
delicious, and your bare hands will love you for it. Sit on the train and
read, or don’t read; look out the window, wonder at the all the funny hats
people wear to keep warm, just sit. Stand in your kitchen as the coffee
brews and sun rises and enjoy warm feet.

Paul in writing the Corinthians would say that to speak as men or angels
without love is to sound like a cheap brass band. Springtime abounds with
new promises, strewn about yards and throughout our conversation. These
often wither or are replaced by June. The King James derives love in
Paul’s letter from the same archaic Greek signifying charity, and indeed
there’s no small similarity. To love; to cherish, or give in this time of
rebirth is to hold dear a million blossoms and countless score warm
raindrops to clean the streets and the air, our minds and hearts. To
cherish a longer day, the mercy of playing tag in the yard without your
coats.

And so for Earth Month make simple choices. Cherish their making, hold
dear the simple moments that follow. Apply and repeat as often as needed.
Love is never far, but it usually starts with you. Start today.