February 2012. We read in the news about a tragedy. From New England to Peru, an unprecedented number of dolphins are beaching themselves: 124 have died on Cape Cod and 200 in Chiclayo, Peru. Experts have weighed in with the possible reasons for these strandings: this year's unusual warm weather, movement of prey, decompression, and disease. We wish those scientists well who are trying to find an answer to this ongoing tragedy.

And we pray this news . . .

Creator God,

Dophins are some of your most
wonderful gifts to the Earth.
They have been around for
30 million years.
The Greeks considered them
to be closer to the gods
than any other creatures.
Australian aboriginals include them
in stories of the Dreamtime.

We sing praises to you for
the distinctive qualities of
these mammals of the sea:
their large brains,
playful nature,
sensitivity to touch,
incredible hearing,
emotional warmth,
marvelous grace,
capacity for imitative behavior,
deep and long-lasting bonds
with each other, and
instinct to care for a hurt
or mortally wounded companion.

We pray this day with
sadness in our hearts
for all the beached dolphins.
We wish we knew for sure
what is behind this tragedy.
We fear that we are complicit
in it — our selfish ways affecting
the climate, the sea, and the
creatures that sustain them.

May we change our ways
for their sake.
May we see how these
beautiful beings can serve
as our spiritual teachers,
showing us what it takes
to survive together
as one family reverencing
each other and leaping
for joy in each other's presence,

So be it.

Next Post: A Prayer for Those Living in PovertyUSA