By Jeanne Murray Walker
I’m up at 5:30 in the morning, packing, then gazing out the window at Whidbey Island as I wait for a pick-up. Wind rattles the cold panes. Behind me, a fire flares in the fireplace. This weekend I have been staying at Camp Casey, a WWII military base, now home to birds and a herd of black-tailed deer.
A gathering of painters, composers, theologians, environmentalists, and poets from all over the country has spent the last two days, meeting here around the clock. We have shared our art with one another and considered, in this wild place, the predicament we have in common as citizens of the earth. We know beyond any doubt that we humans have damaged the planet. Polar ice is melting. The earth’s climate zones are suddenly shifting. Weather is veering toward violence. Sea levels are rising.
This is a scandal. It has happened on our watch.
We have spent hours talking about the central questions. After all, how was this planet created? Evolution and the tenets of our faith, we agreed, are entirely compatible. We weighed the facts. Scientists and theologians, both, have written powerfully about their amazement at the record of the universe, about life on this planet. They see no conflict between their faith in God and the evidence for evolution.