Children…Our Hope

simonelipscomb (11)Tonight I spoke to my local community’s cub scout group. We gathered at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Chapel in Magnolia Springs and I shared a video presentation I produced on endangered species of the Alabama coast…specifically sea turtles and manatees.

The boys and parent/leaders were attentive and asked questions and showed a genuine and engaged interest in the message I brought them. It always makes my heart sing to participate in these programs. But it was the closing of their meeting that deeply touched me.

simonelipscomb (14)One of the boys was asked to close with reverence and he offered a prayer. First, he expressed gratitude for the sea turtles and manatees and other animals. Then he spoke of gratitude for our beautiful world. He was thankful for me being able to come and share with them. And finally…well, admittedly I was so deeply touched by his prayerful expression of love and gratitude for nature and our planet and animals that I lost the last bit of what he was saying.

turtle bwVolunteering doesn’t offer financial rewards but having the opportunity to share video footage, still photographs and personal stories of encounters with sea turtles and manatees with children eager to learn and willing to engage with awe of our planet gives me hope. Honestly there are days when I read the news and see the horrible ways humans treat each other, animals, land, plants, the ocean and other water and I feel despair. But this night, I came away with profound hope and that is pure gold to me.

swimmingOn days when we experience sadness, grief, despair and even anger over what’s happening to our beloved planet and all life here, I think the best way to balance those feelings is to pass along our love for the planet to those willing to listen…and especially to children, our hope.

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