Written by Kacie G.
I remember when I was a young girl. One of my favorite things to do was build fairy houses. How I did this was with the environment around me. I would go to my favorite tree in my yard. It was a big oak tree, and on the side that was opposite my house and facing other trees I built the fairy house. Little twigs made beds, leaves made blankets, oak leaves with their veins even made rugs. I decorated the place with clovers, dandelions, rocks and whatever else was around. At times I would even pick my mom’s planted petunias and add them. I had quite the imagination. Kaitlyn would build her fairy house at the tree next to mine. That was always her tree, and the big oak down the hill was always mine. We never saw fairies that benefitted from the houses we made. Something inside of us knew they were inspiring something greater than ourselves.
Today I’m sitting in a wooded park reflecting on the abundance of nature that taught Kaitlyn and me about design. This part of nature has really taught all of us about design. I see many trees around me that I can build fairy houses by. The sun is shining through the yellow leaves of a tall oak, and I feel, see, smell, hear and maybe even taste (all of my senses) how nature gives us hope.
Taking care of nature by keeping parks and forests clean from litter creates sustainability for our world. Our climate depends on this. We can go all the way to the environment around us to think about sustainability for our communities as well. When I read the reports from the UN this past week about the nature of climate change and the immediate steps we must take to keep our planet safe, my heart broke. My heart breaks for the environment, for the loss of my favorite things to do like write in the woods, for the fact that little children may not be able to build fairy houses like I did. My heart also breaks for those who are at the intersections of violence and climate change. Toxic environments clog our world. Did you know that climate change is connected to human trafficking? Did you know it is connected to terrorism? The Child Labor Coalition wrote about how extreme weather impacts some of the poorest people in our world in multiple ways.
“Children are left orphaned or get separated from their families, as happened in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. In Ethiopia and other places of dire poverty, human traffickers and adoption agencies fraudulently pass off some children as orphans. Or desperate parents give up their offspring in exchange for false promises of better care.”
Also, a story in The National Geographic connected climate change to terrorism. In places like Iraq, the disappearance of water is unstoppable, and farmers are trading backhoes for assault rifles (2017). The National Geographic article “Climate Change and Water Woes Drove ISIS Recruiting in Iraq” talks about the dangerous impacts that happen because of the severity of poverty, lack of water, and lack of security in farming communities. This is devastating. Those who experience the worst of environmental crises are victims to so many other issues. Every time I read stories like these I am amazed at the intersections to other global issues.
I can sit in the woods peacefully, and hear the squirrels rustling in the leaves around me. I can feel the warmth of the sun on my back. But my peace is not fully peace because I think of those who don’t have a place to do this and whose nature is full of pollution. That pollution being litter and violence.
My fairy houses full of the beauty of nature are a home everyone deserves.
Look for the beauty around you. Be a kid again and let your imagination wander, and build a fairy house that takes care of our world and all God’s people in our world. Feel nature between your fingers, remember that good feeling as you play a vital role in creating a sustainable world.
What would your fairy house look like?