Spirituality from a swamp?

Feb 2nd is World Wetlands Day and Church in Creation was held at Rondevlei Wetlands.

Reflecting on the beauty of the nature reserve and the wonderful diversity of the birds and eco-system we read the following reflections:

“English  is full of references to the soggy, wet places of the world. Have you ever got tangled up “in the weeds”? Or  “stuck in the mud”? We hear calls to “drain the swamp” of corruption. These sayings all have a common origin: the idea that marshy places should be avoided, lest we become entrenched in the unpleasantness they represent.

Wetlands  can be highly productive biologically. But they can be quite unpleasant and inhospitable as well,. When decomposition turns anaerobic, fetid odors are produced. This all helps explain the negative reputation held by marshes, mires, and swamps. The common thread in our negative image of wetlands, psychological or spiritual  stagnation, is this: when what is pure and fresh—whether it be water, our emotions, or our relationships with others—does not flow into each of these systems, the system ceases to thrive and grow and goes into decomposition and decay.

 As we know from the natural world, fresh water must continue to flow in and through the marsh in order to keep it healthy and biologically productive. In addition, external pollutants must be limited to what the marsh can absorb.

Similarly, our emotional and psychological lives need to include appropriate amounts of compassion for others, recreation, and renewal in order for us to remain healthy. We need to balance our internal preoccupations with outward companionship, aesthetic experiences, and learning opportunities; and we need to avoid the “pollutants” of excessive stimulation, addiction, obsession, and distraction”. George Gantz

Dear pilgrim,

As you go into the wilderness of the land and of your heart—

May you experience the ever-flowing grace of God’s presence!

May you be immersed so fully in God’s love that you learn to let go and swim!

May you engage deeply and radically with the natural world, as steward, co-creator, and friend!

May you drink anew from the divine source, the stream of living water!

And may you be transformed, may the stagnant waters of your spirit begin to flow, and may all which is dead in you rise again!

God is here. The river awaits. Let the adventure begin

(from the River of Life Pilgrimage – Diocese of Connecticut)

 Following the Church in Creation , we joined the “Trash Bash” organised by the Two Oceans aquarium

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