Photo: Firoz Ahmad Firoz, Save the girl child
You live inside us, beings of the future.
In the spiral ribbons of our cells, you are here.
In our rage for the burning forest, the poisoned fields, the oil-drowned seals, you are here.
You beat in our hearts through late-night meetings.
You accompany us to clearcuts and toxic dumps and the halls of the lawmakers.
It is you who drive our dogged labors to save what is left.
O you who will walk this Earth when we are gone, stir us awake.
Behold through our eyes the beauty of this world.
Let us feel your breath in our lungs, your cry in our throat.
Let us see you in the poor, the homeless, the sick.
Haunt us with your hunger, hound us with your claims,
that we may honor the life that links us.
You have as yet no faces we can see, no names we can say.
But we need only hold you in our mind, and you teach us patience.
You attune us to measures of time where healing can happen, where soil and souls can mend.
You reveal courage within us we had not suspected,
Love we had not owned.
O you who come after, help us remember: we are ancestors.
Fill us with gladness for the work that must be done.
by Joanna Macy, in the collection Prayers for a Thousand Years (1999)
See also her articles on the Great Turning in ecoliteracy.org, Yes magazine, and video