For my write-up today on A Contract with the Earth, by Newt Gingrich and Terry Maple, I'll highlight something from page 22:
"Some of the fauna in our yards instantly evoke respect. Butterflies, for example, have a special capacity to enchant and inform. Callaway Gardens, a botanical oasis just outside Atlanta, is visited annually by hundreds of thousands of people who want to experience the charismatic nature of these frail, enigmatic creatures at the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center. The blinking blanket of color in constant, silent movement eventually captures the imagination of even the grumpy few dragged along by more adventurous members of the family. Children can never get enough of the natural world. Butterflies have other virtues; scientists have discovered that butterflies are highly sensitive to changes in the environment. A healthy population of butterflies is a sign that all is well; a precipitous decline is a sign of danger ahead. Respect and awareness are easily cultivated within a butterfly center or garden."I identified with this passage because I'm often among the grumpy few! But I also think that this passage is important because it highlights the majesty of nature. There is a vast and beautiful world out there, and it includes more than just human beings. And some of these creatures, such as butterflies, play a valuable role in the world.