This I Believe

Amy - Miami, Florida
Entered on September 6, 2006

The walls of Mrs. Bell’s eighth grade science class at Wayside Middle School were papered with posters designed to inspire our impressionable minds beyond what boy we had a crush on that week. I suppose Mrs. Bell succeeded, because, lo’ these many years since I left Saginaw, Texas, one of those posters stayed with me. In bold white letters across a picture of a verdant rain forest, the poster read, Good Planets are Hard to Find.

Think about that for a second.

There is no other place out there that can sustain the diversity of life that thrives here on Earth.

I didn’t set out to be an environmentalist, and I’m not one in the purest sense. I’ve got a long way to go to be considered a bunny-hugger. But, I found myself drawn to parks, open spaces, working lands and their importance to the functioning of our minds, bodies, souls and cities through a series of professional choices that have led me to where I am today.

I think of those words on that poster daily as I work to conserve land so that people can enjoy nature even in densely populated urban cores…so that I can buy a tomato that tastes like a tomato at a local market…so that my nephew will get out from in front of the computer and discover a magical real world right outside of his door…so that my husband and I can walk hand-in-hand along the shoreline, examining shells, watching the sunrise and seeing the porpoise body surf in the waves.

In nature is where I hear the Spirit whisper loudest to me, where I feel in lockstep with the Universe, and I believe that every person needs a place close to where he or she lives to reconnect with the land and with the water to encounter that kind of peace and certainty.

As a person of faith, I live by three principles:

Honor one another.

Honor the Creator.

Honor Creation.

By working to save the landscape, I hope I am fulfilling the other two.