Looking out the oval window to my right, the cotton candy sky is radiating and leading me to dreams of bouncing from cloud to cloud. After take off in San Francisco, I pulled out my laptop and began to reflect on a quote I often let wind and wander through my head. It's a quote from 'The Man Who Planted Trees' by Jean Giono:
"When you remembered that it had all emerged from the hands and spirit of this one man, without any technical aids, you saw that men could be as efficient as God in other things beside destruction."
The story Jean tells is really incredible. I often beg anyone willing to let me read it out loud to them. It tells the story of a man living alone in the Alps and his self-appointed task to plant and care for trees. Throughout the years the story spans, the man transforms a barren and deserted landscape into a thriving and lively forest.
I often feel guilty and overwhelmed by a desire to contribute and make the world better and healthier. Here I am in an airplane, deepening my carbon footprint, as I reflect on stewardship. At times, I feel a bit paralyzed by how I might help out. There are pieces of my life that I selfishly haven't been able to give up, like air travel.
The thing I love about 'The Man Who Planted Trees' is that it's a day-by-day and seed-by-seed effort. The man living in the Alps wasn't able to erect a full forest in one day, it was a lifetime of dedication to a seemingly small task.
I believe there are so many different ways to contribute small acts of stewardship and that everyone can choose a path that makes the most sense for them. Sometimes this is picking up trash along the trail, choosing a certain diet, making the tough decision to fly less, and many other steps. Stewardship, or other things besides destruction, should be a unifying cause where as long as people are trying their best we have a chance to make a big impact all together.
What does stewardship look like in your daily life? I'd love to explore this conversation further and together!