2021 Albany Post Road, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520                     914-271-4283

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the
Hudson Valley





With our most powerful telescope on the smallest  patch of the night sky, we see a mass of galaxies that are so far away, their light has been travelling towards us from early in the life of the Universe. It’s the same in every direction we look!

With our most powerful microscopes on a tiny piece of a living organism we see the smallest components of cells, elements, atoms, neutrons, protons and electron shells.


From the largest to the smallest, our universe is one of mind boggling magnificence and complexity. We, as humans, are an integral part of this and all interconnected and interdependent forms of life, somehow hovering between these absurd extremes of scale, while assuming  that our perspective and our existence is the only one of importance.


For reasons unknown, our lives, during which we are privileged to inhabit this magnificent universe, are gifted to us, seemingly to do what we will with them. Unlike the other inhabitants of our planet, we have evolved the capacity of awareness: we are conscious of all that surrounds us, from the smallest to the largest, and we have the intelligence to figure out to some extent what is going on. We have become witnesses of this magnificence. At the same time we have evolved the ability to exploit and change our surroundings and as our population has increased we have become dominant and we can effect the future evolution of life on this planet in its myriad forms. Consequently we can no longer just occupy, exploit and survive, we have to become very careful, intelligent, proactive stewards in order to maintain what we have been taking for granted!


But what can we do? We should reduce our population; become wiser and more frugal about how we use our limited resources; be more cooperative and share equitably; adopt more sustainable ways of living and develop much smarter ways of getting the energy we need. Most important of all we should view ourselves as an integral part of all existence, interconnected and interdependent. 


Our individual lifespans in this magnificent universe are cosmologically very short. This drives us to accomplish something significant, to make life worthwhile, to leave a legacy, to show appreciation for these great gifts of life with consciousness. The need grows stronger as each of us approaches our personal endpoints. The need is also rapidly growing stronger for us to be better stewards of Earth, because a turning point seems to be approaching faster than we can accept or handle and it would appear that we really have difficulty in fully appreciating what we have been given and that maybe we are not totally free to do whatever we want.


May our legacy be that: we recognize and accept responsibility for the changes we have caused; that we change direction in a timely, responsible and collective manner; that we overcome greed, excess and domination; and that future generations of all of interconnected life are assured the opportunity to experience this awesome magnificence …. just as we have.

written for Earth Day, 2015 by Peter Callaway

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