One of my favorite stories I like to tell from my early days of dating my now wife is from the first spring she ever spent in Maine. We had met in the fall of 1996 and started dating each other in January of the following year. That spring was very much like this year—cold and wet. Amy kept asking me when it was finally going to warm up. I kept reassuring her that by the end of April, the snow would finally stop falling and the warm weather would finally arrive. Mother Nature proved me wrong that year, as it snowed on the first day of May. It was the first time in my life that I had seen that happen. Sure, I’d experienced blizzards in April where one day it was 70 degrees, and a few days later there was 2 feet of snow on the ground. But I had never seen it snow on May 1. I felt like Mother Nature had punked me. At that point in history, there was little talk of the effects of climate change—we all just figured it was springtime in Maine. And perhaps it was just a strange weather pattern that year. Perhaps if the powers that be had been a little more curious about why that was happening, there would be solutions for climate change taking place now. It’s hard to say. If a solution is to be found, and it needs to be found sooner rather than later, it will be scientific curiosity that will save us, and all the living things that exist on this planet. The Soul Matters theme for this month is curiosity. Curiosity is built into the DNA of Unitarian Universalism—without it, our faith literally wouldn’t exist. Over the centuries it was the curiosity of philosophers and theologians that wanted to expand the knowledge of humanity that led us to where we are today. Many of them suffered and died to satisfy this curiosity. People like Francis David, Michael Servetus, Jan Hus, Viola Liuzzo and James Reeb. Curiosity led them to express new ideas and to take a stand for those ideas. As our faith allows us to think in different ways which helps us to become more enlightened, so to we honor those who fought and suffered to bring us those new ways of thinking. So, as you’re waiting for the warm weather to finally arrive, remember that free thinkers haven’t always been appreciated. Perhaps offer up a silent prayer and a thank you to those who helped advance human knowledge. And know that the snow will stop falling, eventually.
The Almost Rev. Kevin DeBeck