From “I” to “We” in solidarity

Since the confinement I have been asking myself more questions about respect for the earth and ecology.  The year Laudato Si’, in 2020, “Taking care of our common House” also invited me to reflect. Then as an Associate of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit Family, with the Orientations of this year 2023: “Contemplating nature”, I felt challenged to try to make gestures in my humble daily life.

In the Paris region where I worked, I was already attentive to this subject. For many years, I have been concerned about the issue of water consumption and saving water: it was then out of personal concern for saving water. Then with “Laudato Si”, my actions took a more solidary orientation in a more Christian and responsible interpellation. By acting in my small sphere, things have changed and… everyone can do the same to become ECO-responsible. Examples: – recovery of cold water while waiting for the arrival of hot water for a shower = 8 l! – Recover rainwater for the garden.  – Do not waste light and energy. – Prepare homemade dishes … But also with a little organization, make dishes for the week: this is what is called “batch cooking” (a method of cooking at home, based on the preparation of different dishes at once to serve the following days). The concept is simple: basically, it’s about organizing yourself to cook so that everything is ready in 2 hours, to plan your meals, but also to cook. What I have been doing for a long time has now become the trendy concept!  It allows to save time, to make balanced meals, economical in water and energy.  Thus, each one at his level can better manage resources without unbalancing the economy, without waste, each one can use and consume just what it is necessary to live daily.

Yes, the garden was a dream for my retirement in Brittany. Because I always had a flowery corner even on a windowsill with flowers, aromatic herbs and even tomatoes.  Here in Brittany since 2005, in a first housing, a piece of garden: I had put a tank for the recovery of cold water. Then a new house where I live now: garden space, small vegetable garden and a lot of grass… hence my frequent visits to the waste disposal center with, at the same time, the lawn clippings of my neighbor.

After reading various articles, including the testimony of Marité, a consecrated laywoman, on the Congregation’s website, I discovered permaculture and the cultivation by layers or lasagna culture that I chose to practice. In autumn, in my small garden of 160 m2, I prepared two places for this form of cultivation with the installation of a small greenhouse-tunnel of garden well anchored because I am on a very windy passage!
I was solicited by several people, for a recovery of cardboards, of shredded hedges, of autumn leaves…  And I also used my composter better.

Today it is the time of waiting for future plantations in connection with the moon. At the summer yield, I will see the result and readjust my practice for the next year.
Then comes the time of sharing with the neighbors, an opportunity to weave more bonds!

In the text of Creation, in Genesis 1,28-29 -31: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him”. God said: “I have given you every herb that bears seed on the face of the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit, to be your food… And God saw all that he had made; it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”

Thus our commitment as Associates takes on its full meaning in a “WITH”, to “be attentive to the cries and expectations of today’s world”. (Book of Life: Friends in the Holy Spirit § 6)


Yolande Andrieu Associate in Plérin – France. Published on April 5, 2023