The 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson's death  transpired on April 14, 2014. Rachel published the ground-breaking and controversial book, Silent Spring, in 1962, which raised awareness of the impacts of our use of chemicals on the natural world. In 18 months, she would be dead, essentially devoting her life to the cause she couldn’t avoid addressing.

This act of getting beyond the self, or relinquishing self interest, was a profound gift to future generations. Even while battling cancer, Rachel completed her costly contribution. What does it take to stay the course in a situation like this? Where does one find the capacity to do so? How does one devote such focus to one thing when there are so many others crying out? How do we make these choices?

In reflecting on the tragedy of 9/11, Pope John Paul II said, “Love is always a renunciation of self. Those who lose themselves, find themselves. Those who save themselves, are lost.”

As we relish the rising birdsong of spring, may we remember Rachel. This photo was taken at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, Maine.

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