Ecology: of Being and Gratitude

In recent years, I have come to know and love the work of the Persian poet known as Hafiz.  His poetry has been made available to us by the translations of Daniel Ladinsky. Hafiz did not write about ecology as we have come to know it, but he did write and bring to life energy, perspectives and deep understandings that help me in the midst of my own thinking and doing around ecological and environmental issues.  Consider this short poem:



all this time

the sun never says to the earth,

“You owe



what happens

with a love like that.

It lights the



It’s about being who we are.  It’s about allowing other beings to be who they are.  It’s a knowing acceptance and a knowing and ever mindful gratitude for Being in all of its manifestations.  Before we trample on what is, let us take a lesson from the Sun and the Earth, what they do and what they Be, all the time.  Then, let us walk gently where we will.

Two other rather different sources of wisdom offer similar instruction:

“Once for all, then, a short precept is given thee: Love, and do what thou wilt: whether thou hold thy peace, through love hold thy peace; whether thou cry out, through love cry out; whether thou correct, through love correct; whether thou spare, through love do thou spare: let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good.”                                                                        St. Augustine of Hippo In Epistulam Iohannis ad Parthos

Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you.

These Eight words the Rede fulfill:

An Ye Harm None, Do what Ye Will.

                                                          Excerpt from the Wiccan Rede

Fourteenth century Persian poet.  Fourth century Christian theologian.  Twentieth century Wiccan ethical code.  In their own ways, in their own words, they call us to an ecology of human spirit (being) and behavior (doing) that honors the life of a thing, the life of a being.


Bob Patrick

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1 Response to Ecology: of Being and Gratitude

  1. Lydia says:

    You gotta love a little Hafiz in the mornimg

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