I was blessed to discover the benefit of recognizing my life purpose decades ago. This was quickly followed up with an understanding and claiming of my mission in life. Over the years, that mission has changed and been refined a number of times. Now it is once again one of those times.
I was fortunate to be raised on a fruit farm, connecting at an early age with a variety of fruit trees, root crops and the very soil itself. I learned the interaction of the sun and the rain and the soil, not so much from formal book learning, but rather from mentoring from Dad and even more from the hands on work that came from being raised on a farm. Leisure and free time often meant traipsing off into the woods or playing streamside.
This early connection has served me well in my adult life. The connection that I forged with the natural world has never failed to be a stress relief, and time spent in the woods or field has always acted as a grounding force. Sitting on a fallen tree in the woods, having a coyote wander by, or feeling the presence and majesty of grandfather trees around me became a spiritual practice early on that has sustained me well into elderhood.
My recent mission statement had come about because of my strong desire for more people to discover and benefit from the healing and grounding gifts of connecting with the land, with all that is on, above and beneath the land. “My mission is to create a world that reveres and respects Mother Earth and all our relations by sharing the beauty of the natural world.” It has served me well, and I have taken action repeatedly to help nurture it into reality.
Fast forward to present day and the climate crisis rearing its head. Because of my lifelong connection to the land, and because of the science I have read about the looming catastrophe that is unfolding, I am keenly aware of the threat that lies before us. More importantly, as a grandfather and great-grandfather, I am more than concerned for the kind of life that we are bequeathing to their generation. The loss of biodiversity, the plastic in the oceans, the rise in severity and frequency of typhoons, hurricanes and tornadoes, 1000 year floods occurring every year, and droughts and wildfires ravaging whole communities as never before are only a few of the causes for great concern. Enough of preaching to the choir. If you are reading this, you know what I am talking about.
I have made a decision to dedicate the remainder of my life to my grandkids, my great-granddaughter, and to their generation. In so doing, it also seems time to refine that mission statement one more time. Recognizing that much of the leadership of dealing with the climate crisis lies with the current youth, it is imperative for me to support them.
My (new) mission is to motivate action to preserve a sustainable world of beauty, biodiversity and abundance for all by standing behind and with the youth.
With this mission accomplished, I can envision a world where my great granddaughter can watch the ospreys swoop down to the stream, capturing breakfast for their young from an abundance of fish in healthy water. I see her generation enjoying the benefit of tolerable temperatures in summer, and of the joy of watching the monarchs and bluebirds flying in their own backyard. I feel their gratitude for clean, fresh water, and for knowing the patience of trees and the resilience of grass. And it is gratitude that keeps me from submerging into hopelessness.
– Steve Aman
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