Several things coincided with Earth Day this week: one was the Table of Faiths dinner sponsored by the Greater KC Interfaith Council and one was AIDS Walk KC.
I celebrated Earth Day by increasing my understanding of watersheds during an informative presentation by the Blue River Watershed Association and by watching a striking film called “Chasing Ice,” which follows the work of James Balog as he tracks and photographs the rapidly melting glaciers that are the dead canaries in our coal mine earth. The long list of contaminants in our water and the startling statistics on how rapidly our climate is changing motivated me to redouble my actions, even as they also left me feeling discouraged. Will I and my efforts really make enough of a difference?
A few days later, on Saturday, I attended AIDS Walk KC for the first time in my many years in this city. I was so moved to see so many people gather for the same cause. Many people walked in memory of those they’ve lost; others walked simply in solidarity. Each person there put a drop in the bucket of support. It is a bucket that needs filling and that can only fill one drop at a time.
In my mind I went back to the night before Earth Day, to the Table of Faiths dinner that Sergio and I attended. During the closing remarks, Reverend Kelly Isola invited everyone in attendance, which is to say people from a wide variety of faith traditions and people who represent a broad spectrum of religious expressions, to “do the thing that is yours to do.” Which, of course, means different things for different people.
I decided that maybe the things that I do - the actions I take to combat hatred or environmental degradation - are the things that are mine to do. And maybe it doesn’t matter that they are small. They are mine and I am compelled to do them.
Maybe it is my job to be a hummingbird ...