One thing I like about going into nature is that I can step in and be there, without all the various cleaning chores I am obligated to perform while out of nature. Nature has its own cleaning crews and they are very thorough. However, they cannot digest manmade refuse: metals, plastics, glass, styrofoam. The lessons we learned in Kindergarten stand strong over time (as it says in the old children's song 'The Kindergarten Wall':
1. Don't hurt each other.
2. Clean up your mess.
3. Take a nap every day.
5. Hold hands.
6. Stick together.
7. Look, before you cross the street.
You can phrase those sentiments in more adult words perhaps, but there is nothing childish about the meanings.
Another one I particularly like is #5:
Take care of each other; lend a hand whenever you have the opportunity. Better yet, seek the opportunity to do so. We don't need to be so proudly self-reliant do we? There is virtue in reaching out to help lighten someone's load a little. "Here, let me help you with that." What a gloriously gracious phrase which seems to have fallen out of common use.
We have this day only; this one in which we are now breathing. Let's find someone to help, in person, today. Look into their eyes and make a connection; especially if that person is a stranger to us. We may have to clean up someone else's mess as well. So be it. Clean it up. Heaven knows there are people who have cleaned up enough of the messes we have made in the course of our lives. You don't think so? Go ask your mother. The other day I heard someone say, "One of the greatest gifts parenthood has given me is this: it forces me to take my focus off myself. What a relief."
Like a geode, at the center of the stone of parenting lies something extraordinary and surprising: Love grows through giving service to another.