Some Days are Special…Two Worlds

Some days are special. I had one last week and I didn’t even need to leave the comfort of my living room.  

 As a family, we have the privilege of renting a house in the middle of a farm in South County Dublin.  From our windows, we have a lovely view to a field sloping gently down to a twirly stream at the bottom of a valley. A dense forest is covering the opposite bank.  It is a haven of peace despite the proximity of the busy junction 16 of the M50 at Cherrywood, situated behind a high concrete wall at less than 200 meters from us. Turning its back from the noisy traffic, the southside of our house is open without limitation to the wilderness of the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains. We are surely living at the last frontier of Dublin.  

 The fauna in this area is still rich despite the pressure of the City and this special day started with a male pheasant slowly walking without fear across our patio less than two meters from me. I saw plenty of these birds when I lived in the rural part of County Wicklow, but it was a first spotting of one of them in Shankill and I really enjoyed seeing it.  

 An hour later, we had some regular visitors in the field as a little herd of six sika deer went down from the neighboring mountains to enjoy the lush grass. These animals are majestic, especially the males with their wide antlers. We can hear them sometimes fighting in the middle of the night. It is a very funny sight to look at their little white bottoms jumping all over the fields when they get disturbed in the middle of their feast by the littlest of moves or noises.  

 It was not the end of it, as a little bit later, a grey heron decided to show its gracious skills by catching a nice size juvenile brown trout from the stream, one hundred meters from the house. Herons are frequent here, but it was the first time I saw one catching a proper sized fish.  

 The cherry on the cake arrived a few hours later when in the middle of the day, a fox appeared near our patio door to look at the scraps of leftover food I leave in the field for the birds. It was amazing to see such a beautiful wild animal so close from the house. On other occasions, we have seen squirrels, dippers, buzzards and other birds, exceptionally little aigrette, curlews, and red kites. 

 It is a privilege to live here but how long will it be possible to enjoy these kinds of sights.  

 All around our house, new estates and building sites are reaching our boundaries. The ¾ of the property where we live are already buried under the concrete of the M50, and the former tillage fields are now under the Cherrywood to Brides Glen Luas line. Where the old farmlands stood, we have now an unfinished new town which when completed will count 9500 homes and 25’000 inhabitants.  

 These two worlds don’t mix very well. One is advancing relentlessly, squashing and destroying the other. The foxes and some birds will adapt to their new conditions, but what about the other ones which need pristine ecosystems to insure their survival?  

At this point, why not stop what you are doing for a little while and walk outside or go near a window and look up..  

Take a moment to observe nature around you and if you are surrounded by buildings, lift up your head, look at the sky. Day or night you will see something wonderful and it could be a good time to remember who made this beautiful world. 

Genesis tells us that God created all things, including us humans. 

From the beginning, mankind has been given fruits and plants for food and the power to rule over the animal world, but these privileges were linked with instructions to protect and respect the creation. For example, God as the landlord of the earth gave us a rule In Leviticus 25 to give the soil a rest every seven years to allow its fertility to be restored. He also tells us to leave an ox the freedom to feed himself with a bit of the crop when it is working treading out the grain. 

I think that a perfect balance between the taking and the giving was always at the center of God’s plan, but sin is at work here as well, and greed is a massive player in our world. 

Destroying thousands of acres of forest to cultivate money making palm oil, flattening a full mountain to find diamonds or building massive ships to catch the last tunas in the sea is unfortunately the reality of our time. 

Mankind is the pinnacle of creation and God also gave us guidance for the respect and protection of our fellow human beings. Respect of the labourers and a decent daily salary is also part of God’s plan and is found in the Bible but there as well the love of money from some push others to abject poverty and modern slavery. 

Here as well, it is a story of two worlds, those who have and those who don’t and it is easy to see the chaos we made stewarding planet earth. 

In my opinion, no political decisions or human enterprises will ever give us back what we have lost but we still have the responsibility to do our best to care about the wonderful gift given to us, our planet. 

God is a God of promises and He will not leave his creation to destruction without acting according to his word. He said in Revelation, ”I am making everything new” and we can already see this regeneration at work in us today as it is written:  

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!   

2 Corinthians 5:17

Let us then be the ones who help usher in God’s new beginning.  

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