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Nurturing Nature in Nantucket

As LoraKim is back in Central America engaging in more parrot conservation work, this time in Honduras, I am once again taking over One Earth Conservation’s weekly blog posting. A couple of weeks ago, she and I spent a wonderful weekend on Nantucket Island, presenting a Nurture Nature workshop for, and engaging in other activities with, the Unitarian Universalist Church on Nantucket in their lovely, historical church, which was built in 1809. [Note: LoraKim and I are also both members of Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations in the New York metropolitan area.] LoraKim, who is an ordained UU minister in addition to being a wildlife veterinarian and parrot conservationist, also preached a Sunday sermon for the congregation on “Reverence for Life.” It was inspirational to meet the people and see the beautiful places on that very special island off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

On Saturday afternoon, members of the congregation attended a Nurture Nature workshop where, among other things, they learned about the biology of why nature is good for people’s physical and mental health (including communing with the ground, as in the photo above!), imagined what it is like to be a chickadee or wolf, and discussed the importance of five human intelligences – emotional, social, multispecies, ecological and spiritual (non-sectarian spirituality, that is). After a hearty lunch and the conclusion of the workshop, a bunch of us set off for a Wild Walk at Sanford Farm, a nature park located towards the eastern end of Nantucket Island. In the brisk autumn air, we enjoyed the natural setting and watching wild swans with their two young cygnets (baby swans), as well as other local birds.

LoraKim’s sermon on Sunday morning focused on Albert Schweitzer – physician, theologian, musician, and philosopher – who gave to the world the Reverence for Life Ethic. More than anything, his life was his argument. She asked us all how can we live like he did, with deep reverence for all of life in ways that nurture and save ourselves, as we save the world. LoraKim reflected upon this, on what it means to be human in a multispecies world, and spoke of her goal to foster compassionate communication in our communities of mixed species so that all beings may flourish.

The Nantucket UU congregation is a group of people who love their island and are committed to conserving its unique habitat and their way of life. They were very engaged in One Earth Conservation’s message of nurturing themselves through nature and how that will help them maintain this commitment. Please let us know if you would like us to bring a Nurture Nature program to your local religious home, civic organization, school or any other group that may be interested.

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