Holy names

Recently I attended an eco-sattva meeting in a scarlet and gold dharma room, with sunlight streaming in.

To conclude the meeting, someone read out the names of species that have recently become extinct: Domed Tortoise, Zanzibar Leopard, Japanese River Otter…

The names were personal, intimate. I felt a shock of sorrow. Each creature had played, loved, and made its home here; many gave their lives to humankind. And now they were gone.

Something turned in that moment for me, because the remembering was not mental. My body remembered, for we were born together from stars.

Yet even as sorrow welled, there was also a sense of life rising upward towards rebirth from the wild beauty of these beings.

Western Black Rhino, Bermuda Owl, Madeiran White Butterfly … I remember you, whose names are holy and without end.

Julia Casciola ©