As many of us are treated to brilliant foliage as the days grow cooler and shorter, October can be a time when we stop and notice. We may have a sense of “Do it now,” to step out and enjoy. The photo above is from woods where I walk each Fall. I expect many of you have your own special places or seasonal rituals.
Along with prompting thoughts about autumn, writing this newsletter gave occasion for me to go back and look more closely at communications that RNA members have recently exchanged at RNAnet and RNAfacebook. I’ll share headlines from a few of these here, with links for those who’d like to see more.
One theme has included sources of information and ideas.
Science Musings, by Chet Raymo, are being re-issued. These offer brief daily “meditations on science” from an archive of thousands of postings (published in the Boston Globe from 1983 to 2003, then online until 2016, when Chet retired). Titles of some recent re-postings include:Ice Age ArtistryRights of animalsMy very distant cousin, the turnip
Nathan Harrell pointed us to a blog, The Singing Wilderness, and to the writings of Sigurd Olson (1899-1982) – an environmentalist and advocate for the protection of wilderness from Minnesota.
Some books have recently been published by RNA members:
Secular Spirituality: Secular Buddhism, Atheistic Humanism, Spiritual Naturalism, and Bodhidaoism (Collected Works) by Jay N. Forrest
Atheopaganism: An Earth-honoring path rooted in science by Mark Green
Three members of the VirginiaPlusRNAnet group (Mark Iredel, Bonnie Dixon, and Aimee Jarboe – plus some family and friends) joined together for a visit to the Smithsonian Hall of Fossils.
Drew Nagy described being part of a group, related to Westover Baptist Church in Richmond, VA, where some who are actively Christian/religious and some who are not all share a sense for the sacredness of life and an appreciation for the story of the universe as told by science. He described how they’re working to embody the vision of The Earth Charter, with focus on Health and Wellness, Environmental Care, and Education (including outdoor education for youth) and are planning toward including a small monastic community.
Thanks to all who responded to the survey about the likelihood of attending next summer’s 2020 IRAS conference on Star Island, with the theme of “Naturalism — as Religion, within Religions, or without Religion?” Preliminary responses show that a good number of people are likely or sure to attend.
For those interested in a seasonal piece of music, I’ll end with a link to a song – a non-standard version of “Autumn Leaves”, by Eva Cassidy. Also, for those who might appreciate it, a poem by Wendell Berry, related to the season and RNA logo, is shown below.
Todd Macalister

RNA Newsletter – October, 2019