"We give-away our thanks" - a Season of Gratitude
We give-away our thanks to the earth
which gives us our home.
We give-away our thanks to the rivers and lakes
which give-away their water.
We give-away our thanks to the trees
which give-away fruit and nuts.
We give-away our thanks to the wind
which brings rain to water the plants.
We give-away our thanks to the sun
which gives-away warmth and light.
All beings on earth: the trees, the animals, the wind and the rivers give-away to
so all is in balance.
We give-away our promise to begin to learn
how to stay in balance wiith all the earth.
-Dolores La Chapelle
Michigan's Warren Dunes State Park, Lake Michigan (Photo by Dan Robinson)
We have much to be thankful for in the Great Lakes Basin, beginning with the water of the five Great Lakes, as well as the almost countless rivers, smaller lakes, wetlands, ground water, streams and more. The water provides life to all of us, giving us what we need to survive, but also feeding our spirits through its beauty and providing a livelihood for many whose work depends on the water.
We have much to be thankful for in the Great Lakes Basin, including the plants and animals, the wind and the soil, who, as the poem-prayer says above, "give-away to one another so all is in balance."
We have much to be thankful for in the Great Lakes Basin, including the people and communities who call this watershed home. I am constantly reminded of the goodness of people through the folks I interview for the Great Lakes Spirituality Project. So many people are working to care for and heal the Great Lakes Basin and to help us humans see ourselves as part of this ecosystem, not something separate from or over the life around us.
In this season when we remember harvest and bounty, I want to express my gratitude for the people who generously shared their stories with you and with me. Below is a list of the people that I've interviewed this year, with a link to the original post, as well as a link to the website for the projects and organizations that they are a part of. I encourage you to revisit these conversations and to support the good work these people are doing.
Finally, I give-away my thanks to you, the reader. Thank you for taking the time to read these stories and thoughts and being part of the community around the Great Lakes Spirituality Project. I am always grateful for the support, for the times you may have shared what you've read or seen here with others, and for the few minutes you took out of your day to see what was happening in this space.
Blessings on all of you in the year to come, as well as all the waters that surround us and give us life, the plants and animals with whom we share this ecosystem, and all our brothers and sisters of the Great Lakes Basin.
Thanks to everyone listed here for their generosity in sharing their stories and their wisdom.
Dr. Margaret Wooster (Interview 1 and Interview 2) - Meander: Making Room for Rivers
Dr. Dan Weber (Part 1 and Part 2) - Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light
Rev. John Helt - Creation Care Team, Wisconsin Conference UCC
Nicole Brown - Detroit Future City's Land + Water WORKS Coalition
Steve Wasko - St. Suzanne Cody Rouge Community Resource Center
Jane Elder - Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters