Sense of wonder under threat

7 May 2014, Comments 0

dragonflies spread 3

Spiritual as well as physical damage is being done by our disconnection from nature. That’s the main message of the latest edition of A Rocha UK’s magazine ‘Root & Branch’ – which lands on supporters’ doormats soon.

In his column for the publication, Conservation Director Andy Lester explains how people have told him they miss ‘a sense of awe and wonder’ about the natural world. ‘There’s something deeply spiritual about our connection to nature,’ writes Andy, ‘and we’re losing that connection at a very rapid rate.’

Editor Jean Morgan warns of ‘the relentless pursuit of “progress”‘. She points out, ‘That loss in the natural world causes the loss of something within ourselves as well.’ In her introduction, she unpacks the journal’s theme – and how it’s reflected in such articles as an interview with celebrated birder, author and journalist Dominic Couzens and a highly colourful spread on dragonflies.

‘The featured stories of individuals, churches, communities and A Rocha projects, are all about making that connection with nature,’ Jean writes. ‘As God’s creation refreshes and restores us, we in turn need to work to renew it.’ Issues covered include:

– how to respond to the environmental cost of palm oil production;
– how to abandon consumerism and cultivate contentment;
– how people can be moved by a sense of wonder to care for creation;
– how to support A Rocha UK in creating a new conservation space.

Jean steers clear of what she calls ‘Luddism or an Eeyore-like pessimism’. She points out much progress is good and life-enhancing. ‘We should affirm and value that,’ she writes. ‘But let’s also be aware that paying more attention to, and protecting, beauty in the world will lead us, and others, closer to God, who is its source.’ (Pictured – snapshot of the dragonfly feature in A Rocha UK’s magazine)

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