Thursday, July 14, 2011

Creatures Sharing the Environment

I was so taken by a scenario of over fifty cows milling round and round a huge tree. Admiring their black and white skin colors, I wondered what they were doing there instead of grazing in the expansive, grassy prairie. It dawned on me that the cows were taking shelter under the tree. Of course it was a hot July day!

The tree’s long, leafy branches spread out casting a cool shade for the cows. None sat. None stood still. None ate. They marched around the tree in unison. How thoughtful. How considerate. Do we often think other species can be that considerate and cooperative?

There is the give and take aspect of this picture. The tree gives shelter to the cows.  And the cows provide the tree animal dung for manure. From the scorching sun, the cows find respite walking together to share space. Tree and cattle give back to mother earth who provides the land.

How do we share with all creatures? My Dominican Congregation is passionate about the environment and sharing our common life is mandatory by our religious vows.  Will you join us?

Monica Oboagwina, OP
Madison, Wisconsin

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