I came across and learned a new word yesterday – microbiome. A microbiome is “the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space.” My body and its organs are made up of millions of cells, maybe billions even. The pathogens that make up my microbiome are ten times the number of cells that make up me. These microorganisms of my microbiome are different and distinct from my body cells. They are not part of me but they are essential to my health and wellbeing just as I am to theirs. They are on my skin, in my gut, in my mouth, in all my organs including vital ones like the heart and the brain. These microorganisms help me digest the food I eat, protect me against invading pathogens, and enable many vital body processes. Like, there are certain microorganisms whose absence in my microbiome would lead to obesity or diabetes. I live in perfect symbiosis with these microorganisms of my microbiome. Live and let live. I die, they die. They die, I would also probably eventually die.
The leaves have started changing colors and soon will be falling off trees. Winter is coming and the weather will soon turn cold and dreary. This is the definite signs that rain and snow will also be coming. But not in California. The drought persists. In other places, there are floods because of too much water. We are the microbiome of Mother Earth. We live symbiotically with her. Live and let live. She dies, we die. But if we die, she will probably come to a fuller life again.
Life and all living things are intimately interconnected. We co-exist with everything there is and we are all bound together by one thread of life. The threads of our lives may sometimes seem so convoluted, divergent, and complex but they are all eventually tied together into the ultimate thread that is in the hands of God. Through that thread runs the life energy that keeps us all in existence. There are signs all around us of this truth. We are able to see these signs in the passing of the seasons, in the passages of life, in the changing of the times and be aware of this ultimate thread. And as we master the interpretations of what is visible and palpable, may we never lose sight of the mysterious and ineffable in our lives.
Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
~ Psalm 24
Jesus said to the crowds,
“When you see a cloud rising in the west
you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does;
and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south
you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is.
You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky;
why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”