Running the whole way
The human condition is constantly besought by fragmentation. In our 21st century maelstrom our lives are prone to compartmentalization. Our existence gets divided into weekends and work weeks, work and play, family and friends, God’s creations and man’s artifices, and many other false dichotomies. Competing demands from the various fragments war against the peace that is promised from “having it all together.” Can anyone really hope to get it all together?
In 1997 or so, I was involved in the genesis of a group that seeks to grow more wholeness. It has been exciting to see A Rocha Canada form as a branch of a movement that began in Portugal in 1984, when Peter and Miranda began a holistic ministry of creation care under “the rock” moniker (A Rocha in Portuguese).While A Rocha chiefly aims to address the increasing separation between God’s creation and our highly artificializing life styles, A Rocha is holistic in many other ways.
For example, at A Rocha field study centres, like the one we have developed in South Surrey, many of the staff actually live where they work, helping to fulfill one of the 5 “C’s” of A Rocha: “community.”Community is an ideal of fellowship that we, amidst our frequently fragmented relationships, seldom glimpse.We face many challenges as the creation that normally nurtures so much of the growth towards holism itself becomes fractured.A Rocha plants the hope that there is a way to get back to this nurturing foundation.
As a member of the A Rocha board I have too often watched the A Rocha staff strive to carry out the mission from the sidelines.So it felt good this past summer to be personally involved in an A Rocha research program in the Little Campbell Watershed stewarded by A Rocha Canada in South Surrey.I worked with an intern, ShariAnn Kuiper (see below) an undergraduate student Redeemer College in Ontario, on an exciting project to see how pollination of an invasive species, Himalayan balsam, affects pollination of natives.
This Saturday (Dec. 12th) I am putting my whole self into it once again – on a “run for the river” that I came up with to help A Rocha Canada with fundraising.As a typical biologist, fundraising has always been the opposite of who I am.Yet if I say I really believe in what A Rocha Canada does, should I not “run the whole way?” So that's what I plan to do on Saturday, bolstered by the numerous friends who have so generously sponsored me. The whole way for me will be the 23 km (about a half marathon) from the headwaters to the estuary where the Little Campbell enters the Pacific Ocean.Tune in next time to see how I did!