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What do we hold sacred?

Charles Eisenstein:

Today I saw a monarch butterfly. It was the only one I have seen this summer, and I am sad. I have been preserving all the milkweed that has been coming up as a weed in my gardens. An insignificant gesture, but for me it is a little prayer.

I’ve loved these butterflies ever since I was a boy and my father told me about their migratory journey. In those days there were three kinds of butterflies that frequented our suburban yard—little white ones, little yellow ones, and the monarchs. They fluttered about in great numbers, and I never thought they could ever disappear. …

I could end this piece with “practical” proposals about soil regeneration, pesticide bans, wildlife refuges, wetland restoration, and so forth. But again, the problem is not that we don’t know what to do. It lies in what we hold—or do not hold—sacred. So here I will affirm what everyone already knows in their hearts. The monarchs are sacred. The lightning bugs are sacred. Not because they are “indicators” of ecological health. Not just for their “ecosystem services.” They are precious in their own right, beyond all measure. If they are not precious, then what is? As we embrace this truth, we will find the courage to apply the solutions we already know.

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