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Enveloped by the sacred: Tinicum

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Enveloped by the sacred: Tinicum

Leaves at Tinicum

Leaves at Tinicum

Photo: AFSC / Lucy Duncan
By: Lucy Duncan
Published: October 30, 2013

Note: I took a walk recently with my son and partner in Tinicum, also known as the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

This poem is a reflection on that walk and the conversation we had. We noticed that the destruction of the environment far away is also here in our midst, all around us.

We've been talking quite a bit about Shared Security at AFSC and this conversation brought home for me how connected our fate is with the fate of those far away.

There is no cocoon protecting us from environmental wreckage or other kinds of violence - our futures are intertwined and interdependent. - Lucy

Walking on paths blanketed in leaves that crackle

Two white cranes swooping against soft blue air

Orange, red, brown leaves dipping towards the water

Turtles lumbering through the mud just beneath the surface


And two, partner and son, home to me, walk beside me


Son speaks outrage - a Palm oil plantation in Cameroon threatens orangutans

He has written an essay about it, "Humans suck"



We walk in a holy place that may be only a memory

The airport neighbor intends to encroach

Enveloped are we by the sacred as the bulldozer of destruction creeps nearer


I look out across the marsh and see the sky fingering the earth

Grasses pushing toward the light


Life flourishes at the edges


Hold my hand, together we might refuse the death temptation




About the Author

Lucy serves as Director of Friends Relations for AFSC. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience. Before working for AFSC, she was Director of Communications at FGC, managed QuakerBooks of FGC, and owned and managed her own children's bookstore in Omaha, The Story Monkey. She attends Green Street Friends Meeting (PhYM) and lives with her son and partner in a Quaker cemetery.