On June 21, the first full day of summer, I visited Fellowes Riverside Gardens in Youngstown. The gardens are part of a large public park, Mill Creek Park. Every season different kinds of flowers are planted that grow well at that specific time of year. My favorite time to visit is springtime when seemingly thousands of tulips are grown.
On my last visit I took time in what is known as the rose garden where all kinds of roses are found from beautiful long stem roses to bush like rose plants with clusters of roses on each stem. These roses are an image for me of all nature. Each is unique but contributes to the whole of the garden. Each rose is unique because of color, size, shape, etc. One rose caught my attention this time. The core or center was a deep yellow with each ring outward becoming pale pink to red. Each color was eye catching and yet it was one rose.
At this time in our country, social unrest and rampant racism are on the rise. The rose seems to be a sign of what our society should be, different colors forming one united whole. God’s creation of nature surrounds us, even in the center of cities where trees or flowers continue to make their presence known. Smog, car emissions, human misuse never stop the growth from occurring. Cleveland is blessed with the Emerald Necklace, a series of large parks reaching across suburbs and the city that provide trees, lakes, stone formations, meadows and all sorts of wildlife for visitors to enjoy. All of these are signs of unity in nature. Why can’t we imitate what is so obvious around us?
Each and every person shares what it means to be human. We may be black, white, yellow, brown or any shade in between, but we are all humans. Just as we need to appreciate and care for our environment, the beauty of nature all around us, so too we need to appreciate and care for every person with whom we come in contact. At our core we are all one.
Take some time to look around you. Find some form of nature that is present- a leaf, a blade of grass, a flower. Study it carefully and see the unique color, shape and patterns that are present. Appreciate its uniqueness. Try to do the same when you come in contact with another person. What is unique about this person? Appreciate her or him.
What speaks to you about our common human unity?
How do you show appreciation for nature and all human persons?