Animals of my life
As we roll toward Epiphany, I've taken note of the animals in my life. Betsy, the best dog in the whole wide world, and who graciously puts up with Christmas Eve antlers (for a few minutes)is my Number 1, closely followed by cats Jack the Brat and Elvis.
This Christmas, a couple of more animals have been added to the roll call.
I adopted a Manatee named Phyllis through the Save the Manatee Club. She's a habituee of nearby Blue Spring State Park, and a reminder that we need to work to protect the river and the spring from the side effects of development and population growth. Ground water levels are in danger of becoming low enough to dry up marshes, destroy ecosystems and allow salt-water intrusion, because of drawing down for drinking for the thirsty and growing population.
There are already changes to Blue Spring because of nutrient loading from nitrates found in runoff from lawn fertilizers and from septic tanks. The manatees, other wildlife and our water sources are all in peril.
Finally, some people in Africa are better off because of a Christmas gift from my friends -- the donation of a couple of goats in my name through the Episcopal Relief fund. Goats are especially valued for their milk, meat, manure -- and the offspring the produce. It's hard for us to imagine the poverty in some countries, and how much difference a goat can make.
Thank you, Lord Christ, for the bounty and diversity of life you put on this planet. Make us your trustworthy stewards of this Earth and teach us to care for it and each other.
Remind us who have so much that we are to share what we have with those in need.
In your name's sake, I pray.
(Ed. note: I started this post New Year's Day, but didn't finish it until this morning, Jan. 5)