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Creative Tension Seeds Hope

[caption id="attachment_3821" align="alignright" width="200"]Barbara Harrington Blog by Sr. Barbara Harrington, OP[/caption] You'd hardly know it's there. You find it hiking via dog fur, presiding in coyote scat, being resettled by autumn wind; bird droppings, a favorite mode of transportation. Autumn, time for seed's wild dispersal. Made for itinerancy, seeds regularly travel outside their comfort zone…and that brings blessing. Comfort zones hide the magnitude of change called for in this era of Earth's climate change.  To be sure, there's a generosity of heart and spirit to change home practices.  But even with so much love for life, the rest seems overwhelming…until you think of Gregor Mendel, the Augustinian monk, born in 1822, father of modern genetics. Imagine him in his monastery garden shelling peas, bushels, generations of seed.  Seeds, those archetypes up against the prevailing thinking about lineage, legacy. His brush caresses each cotlydon with pollen grains; through this laborious cross-pollination of seedlings he observes each origination with care.  With an intuitive smile of recognition, he coaxes shy tendrils toward the sun. Saving, hybridizing generations of seed, Mendel describes each crossbreed's color, texture, feel; his eye quickens, patterns emerge. Mendel claimed "courage" unfolded his discoveries of the basics of inheritance.  But something else is evident … a quality described as tenderness. In our time, Earth has been reconfigured by global capitalism... easy, fast, convenient and barrier-free consumerism.   With that heritage, Earth-human systems have become dangerously unstable.  We cajole, we fuss, we argue, we consume.  But a steady diet of that dynamic does not select for a trait you'd want to pass on. Only one dynamic in the model enkindles hope:  resistance. Resistance is not a tactic, but rather, human imagination stepping outside the prevailing values of capitalism to foster a love for the inter-creativity of living possibilities. Yes, this is soul work; and it is also science. Friction has to enter the system to slow down the forces of destabilization. Resistance to global capitalism is seeded by humility, humus, Earth expressing its ever creating self through the art of storytellers broadcasting seeds of possibility, cultivating ways for the yet-to-be-invented. Our "monastery garden" is the lands we hold in common.  At this grave moment of climate instability, in the 2016 assembly our lands called forth hope, seeded years before with the program, "Who Shall Inherit the Land?" To conserve our lands will take courage, yes, but mostly it will be a stepping forth with feeling, love, tenderness…and that brings blessing.

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