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Photo by CoreBurn

It is raining again, the morning after a tornado-like storm that downed trees and power lines.   I watched it all yesterday from a gentle sitting meditation room with friends.  Later people were scratching their heads at my daily meeting about why things happen.  Trees were down on Sligo, the creek flooded by the flash storm, electricity out at all over the region.  A friend was very shaken by a tree falling into the house where she lives.  The house was condemned and she can’t go in to get her clothes.  She rescued the dozens of pets and her computer.   No one was injured.  Cause and effect. The great God of weather.

I remember a wonderful film I saw about Cause and Effect.  It was a short documentary that traced what happened to one plastic cup….just watched it travel when someone tossed it out a car window, traced its survival through traffic, sewers, and oceans.  We don’t just “toss away” trash without it going somewhere.  Trees appear to fall suddenly, but the conditions for the fall may have taken many years to develop.  The tree in our back yard is leaning, has some rot on the side where the other tree fell, has been diagnosed as dangerous by several tree people.  It may fall eventually, possibly on our roof or the fence or on our neighbor’s new addition.  The arborist in our town will not give us permission to cut it down.

The oil spill in the Gulf was caused by so many factors that came together – dead dinosaurs from millions of years ago, WWII, oil dependence, greedy companies, government policies, our dependence on cars and wars.  Why do we need to imagine a god who sits up in heaven with a computer deciding whom to harm.  “This is” because “that is.”  It’s such a simple way to look at things.  Thank you Thay.

I suppose people’s minds want the “first Cause” to be a person, a great Mind.  Perhaps it is.  I don’t need to understand.  But I do want to be ever more mindful of my actions and their effects on people, nature, my body, the food chain, pollution.

I want my footprint to be gentle on the earth, my words to be kind to others, my actions to foster beauty rather than destruction. So, I take up my writing, looking deeply at its causes, hoping its effects will enhance beauty and understanding.


  1. As you mentioned, Thay has taught us – This is because that is.

    Because Explorer Post 342 introduced me to the woods and mountains of Pennsylvania, Maryland, & Virginia I grew to love these spaces. Then 20 some years later in these very spaces I grew to love you.

    • I thank each tree, each path you grew to love on your way to me. Love you.

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