This introspective quote was on a card given to me recently:
“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars… In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.” – Max Ehrmann, from Desiderata
Just reading it brings a sincere calmness; it reminds me of The Creation Story. God made Adam and Eve last, and extremely special, yet it does not mean we are any different in value than the plants and animals around us. We have responsibility, yet what we are tending has great importance. This quote also reminds me, that we must nurture ourselves. We are a part of this universe and have a large part to play. To harness our best, we must take a breath.
As social beings, humans crave connections, and it seems sustainability thrives when people feel connected to their surroundings. I look forward to exploring these connections and more during my time as an Eco-Stewards Intern in West Virginia this summer. It seems, the more I acknowledge these connections with people and the environment around me, the bonds seem to grow. It can seem chaotic, yet the intensity and fullness of life makes it that much greater.
I enjoy working with my hands, being apart from the ordinary, and feeling inspired. These three traits and more led me to the Eco-Stewards Program and to my summer internship with The West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy and Workcamps (WVMAW) and Montgomery Presbyterian Church. This summer is going to be an adventure of connections. I was led to this program through a connection with and a helpful email from a minister at my home church, the Rev. Karen Akin of Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock, AK. The deep connections between sustainability and faith also inspired me to join this program. In addition, the connections to those I am beginning to know in West Virginia have created a clear image of the greatness of this experience.
I look forward to great adventures this summer. Creating connections with all those around me, by learning to harness great things to do great things for others. I especially look forward to the connections the volunteers and I will make with materials, people and the environment around us through building relationships and structures at WVMAW.
Bolton Kirchner, 21, is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He is majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Faith and Work. Kirchner will intern this summer with Montgomery Presbyterian Church and West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy and Workcamps, a Christian ministry supported in part by the Presbyterian Church (USA) that offers the opportunity for discipleship by partnering with those in need whose lives have been devastated by natural disasters or by the disaster of poverty in areas of West Virginia.