At least as much

They’re cutting trees beyond our house
to make room for more houses.
Cutting little bits of me, these friends
I’ve walked among every morning.
This tragedy seems one with
the felling of trees in Madagascar,
old growth forests ruined for paper towels,
the killing of whales, the slaughter of cattle,
the cooking of chicken, the labor of slaves,
the lives of the migrants who pick my fruit,
the cutting of trees where they built my house,
the Beloved hung on the cross.
Unless my sad outrage is humbled
and confused by guilt and gratitude
I have failed to really be one with the trees,
to know how profoundly my weal is built on others’ woe,
how much the world surrenders to sustain me.
I will not consume this world nor quit it nor save it,
but join it: all of us in this together,
bound up in the giving-and-receiving of life:
wounding as little as I can,
humbled by what others sacrifice for me,
and grateful, to commit to this: to contribute
as least as much as I cost.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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