Growing in relationship with nature

The following excerpt, adapted from the book Aguchita: Mercy and Justice, reveals how Aguchita cherished and respected all plants and saw them as means through which the poor could become empowered and independent.


Aguchita loved contemplating nature and loved to grow plants. She believed that the smallest attention to detail could create a more harmonious environment, even in the most impoverished of places. "Our flowerpots must be beautiful," she would say, "if you can't afford to buy them, you must make them." She led by example and used recycled tin cans. After painting them and filling them with good soil, she explained that they could be used as planters to grow tomatoes, spinach, and other vegetables so that the poor could become self-sufficient. She always welcomed the opportunity to teach the women and girls how to sow seeds and care for plants, as she firmly believed that this would form a good heart in them. She taught them how to pray, look after plants, and learn new skills to become autonomous and mindful of their human rights.


The Congregational Position Paper on Integral Ecology calls us to understand that reconciliation with our earth calls for a new consciousness, a new identity, and new behaviors. Aguchita's relationship with the natural earth centered on the kinship of all creation and the implementation of human rights for all. How can Aguchita's example help you to acknowledge your complicity in perpetuating dualistic and domineering attitudes about the earth? How can you develop a new consciousness, a new identity, and new behaviors?