Monday, January 29, 2007

The Awesome Power and Tender Beauty of God in Nature

Since I was a young child I have been in awe of the power of God in nature. I can remember the nights that I huddled under the covers as the booming crack of thunder and then the jagged streaks of lightning were so intense and seemed so close that I thought surely that the next one would land on our house.

I also recall another time much later when I traveled to the Greek Islands with my late husband. We were part of a small group that had chartered a ship to visit a number of ancient holy sites on some of the islands. All the sleeping quarters were below deck and ours seemed to be the farthest from topside, which wasn’t a calming thought for me, as I’ve always had a fear of “big water.”

After a week of wonderful weather, the seasonal meltemeh winds that come out of Mongolia kicked up a terrific storm. The waves were incredible and the boat was weaving and bobbing as the storm gathered strength.

My husband was a former navy man and loved the sea. In his mind the bigger the storms the greater the thrill and joy for him. Not me. While he and everyone else below deck were evidently sleeping like babies rocked in a cradle, I grabbed a blanket and headed topside. I was determined that if I was going to meet my maker it would be face to face—not fearless—but conscious and aware.

The crew, evidently not the least concerned by the storm, acknowledged my presence with a smile as I tucked the blanket tightly around my body and settled onto one of the benches that were bolted to the deck. I was so stunned by the truly spectacular show of such incredible energy and power that I forgot my fear and settled into being mesmerized. I remember staying in prayer and gratitude as I gave into the glory of just being alive. The next day all was well and we continued on our journey.

I was reminded of these experiences recently, as I again opened to the awesome … yet tender side of God in nature. I was in a state of bliss as I pruned and planted in my small patio garden. I always feel connected to the essence of the earth as I cooperate with it, and when new life bursts forth as a result of this partnership, I feel a joy that fills my soul.

Later as I sat down to dinner, I noticed an adult rabbit standing directly in view outside the glass doors. It was joined immediately by the tiniest baby bunny it has ever been my joy to see. I watched as this little bunny scampered in and out between every pot, shrub and flower. It was heartwarming to see the baby bunny’s acceptance of just being a bunny and doing what bunnies do. It was another reminder of the precious gift of nature and how connecting with it brings us back to the joy of being alive.
Copyright 2007 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author's book, THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY -- How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within, is available from, other online booksellers, and through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Something Worth Thinking About!

I am reading a fascinating book titled Which Side of Your Brain Am I Talking To?—in which the author Boyé Lafayette De Mente says it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that there are basic differences in the functioning of the left and right sides of the brain. Which side of the brain is engaged at specific times depends on the first language one learns as a child, the culture in which one is reared and sexual gender.

The author, a recognized international cultural expert, concludes that these factors predetermine whether a person’s subsequent mind-set will be to either approach life from a logical and rational viewpoint (left-brain) or a purely emotional one (right-brain), and only later, hopefully, will the person be able to come around or be brought to a rational position.

This may not be news to some of you, but I was stunned to learn that the majority of people in the world do not use the same thinking processes that we do in our Western culture. The first thing I thought of was the obvious impact this has on international relations, and the fact that our nation experiences such tremendous challenges around the world with the way in which every act or inaction is perceived.

I have known for some time that in Western culture the way in which we learn to understand ourselves, others and the world around us is by a logical approach of comparing, categorizing and using a linear method of understanding situations and events in terms of cause and effect. The challenge is when we compare – we get into judging ourselves and others – and when we judge this separates us, which keeps us in fear, with no hope of closeness or understanding.

I remember in childhood comparing myself to my friends and always coming up holding the short end of the stick. In each instance it resulted in a damaging blow to my tender sense of self, lowered my self esteem and caused me to draw within. As I matured I realized that there would always be someone who was better looking, smarter, richer and more successful. I knew that intellectually, but thinking habits of a lifetime are difficult to overcome. Now at least I am aware of this shared cultural tendency, which can prevent us from fulfilling our dreams and destiny as individuals and as a nation.

The United States is the greatest power in the world, but instead of being thought of as the benevolent protector of the weak and downtrodden, which is our philosophical intention – not always fully realized – we are perceived by many as a power-hungry bully.

I have to think that somewhere in Washington’s diplomatic corps there is awareness of the vital importance of cultural differences in all aspects, including thinking processes. I have to think this to keep hope in my heart.

For myself, while I haven’t been able to break free from the judging aspect of my inherited thought process, I am getting better. Now, when I see an intellectually aware, confident, successful human being, especially a bestselling author, like Boyé De Mente, I simply think—Thanks for showing me the way.
Copyright 2007 by Fern Stewart Welch
The author's book, THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY -- How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within, is available from, other online booksellers, and through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cow Cloning for Food, Fun and Profit?

I was fascinated by recent conversations on Cow Cloning that I heard on Ira Flatow’s Science Friday program on National Public Radio. The point of discussion was the clear and present capability of Cow Cloning, whether or not it would then naturally follow that the Cloned Cows would be made available as food products and possible public reaction to all the above

One expert advised that it wasn’t up to the Food and Drug Administration to decide this issue, as all they are required to do is rigorously oversee any application for Cloning of Cows. After the FDA is assured that all the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed, it is up to the applicant/business to go forward … or not.

It caught my attention when one of the experts being interviewed stated that cloning rarely produces a healthy animal. Other information I thought important was provided by a caller who questioned the wisdom of Cloning Cows when the dairy industry is currently being subsidized by the government, and there is obviously not a shortage of cows, no shortage of beef products and absolutely no shortage of milk.

As to the possibility of exporting packages of beef around the world that are labeled “Product of Cloned Cows,” it was noted that some countries in Europe are now beginning to relax their initial resistance to the idea of genetically altered food products. It was assumed that with this change in attitude a market for Cloned Cow products would eventually open up as it had for food that bears a label indicating the food has been irradiated. The key, according to one of the interviewees seems to be giving people a choice. However one expert noted that the deterrent for many people would still be the “yuucck” factor.

My conclusion is that the dairy industry certainly cannot be overjoyed with this idea, as it doesn’t answer a real, existing or known future need, and the advisability, as well as the marketing of such food products for human or animal consumption is still questionable.

It seemed obvious to me that at play in this issue is the “fun” factor, the thrill if you will of having the scientific know-how and thinking that the next step is inevitable and natural.

I recalled how decades ago scientists harnessed nuclear power and we built and detonated the atom bomb. In taking this step, we set off a chain reaction that now brings us to the current international challenges and the distinct possibility of destroying our life support system on earth.

With the world at a crisis point, the real question about Cow Cloning may be a no-brainer. Do we continue the mindless march toward technological progress or will humanity be capable of evolving to the conscious awareness to recognize we have the responsibility and, hopefully still have the opportunity to determine the future of life on this planet?
Copyright 2007 by Fern Stewart Welch.

The author's book, THE HEART KNOWS THE WAY -- How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within, is available from, other online booksellers, and through major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and Borders.