To the editor:
That the smallmouth salamander and the Journal-World editorialist (March 4, "Oh, no!") are born of the same parent - elemental dust from an aged star that exploded 5 billion years ago - is no New Age platitude. It is an insight from the wisdom stream that we call "science."
Reminding us of relatedness or kinship, this kind of insight is "religious" in the truest sense of the word (religare: to re-connect). We hear similar echoes in the voices of elders: Rachel Carson and Black Elk, Mahatma Gandhi and Jesus.
To live in the awareness of this large kinship with all manner of beings, human and other-than-human, is to be at home in this particular place of the Kaw Valley. It also is to have a sense of responsibility for the health and vitality of the whole household: water, air, farmer, frog and fowl.
Our citizens who gather on rainy nights to taxi salamanders across 31st Street are performing a practical act of mercy. But more, theirs is a religious action, reminding us all that we are held and sustained in an eons-old kinship web which extends into an uncertain future.
For their example, I am grateful.