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Enveloped by the sacred: Tinicum

Acting in Faith  |  By Lucy Duncan, Oct 30, 2013
Leaves at Tinicum

Leaves at Tinicum

Photo: AFSC / Lucy Duncan

Note: I took a walk recently with my son and partner in Tinicum, also known as the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

This poem is a reflection on that walk and the conversation we had. We noticed that the destruction of the environment far away is also here in our midst, all around us.

We've been talking quite a bit about Shared Security at AFSC and this conversation brought home for me how connected our fate is with the fate of those far away.

There is no cocoon protecting us from environmental wreckage or other kinds of violence - our futures are intertwined and interdependent. - Lucy

Walking on paths blanketed in leaves that crackle

Two white cranes swooping against soft blue air

Orange, red, brown leaves dipping towards the water

Turtles lumbering through the mud just beneath the surface


And two, partner and son, home to me, walk beside me


Son speaks outrage - a Palm oil plantation in Cameroon threatens orangutans

He has written an essay about it, "Humans suck"



We walk in a holy place that may be only a memory

The airport neighbor intends to encroach

Enveloped are we by the sacred as the bulldozer of destruction creeps nearer


I look out across the marsh and see the sky fingering the earth

Grasses pushing toward the light


Life flourishes at the edges


Hold my hand, together we might refuse the death temptation




About the Author

Lucy serves as Director of Friends Relations for AFSC. She blogs, organizes Quakers to work for justice, and has helped create AFSC's Sanctuary Everywhere stream of program work. She has been instrumental in the adaptation of Quaker social change ministry as a tool for reclaiming Spirit-guided social change work focused on companioning those most impacted by injustice. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience.

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About Friends Relations

Lucy Duncan works with other AFSC staff to foster strong relationships between AFSC and Quakers.

Lucy is AFSC’s Director of Friends Relations. She has been a storyteller for 20 years and has worked with Quaker meetings on telling stories for racial justice and of spiritual experience. She attends Green Street Friends Meeting (PhYM) and lives with her son and partner in a Quaker cemetery.

Sophia is the Friends Relations Fellow this year who works closely with Lucy. She is a recent graduate of Guilford College where she majored in Sustainable Food Systems and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies.