Dominican Sister of Hope Bette Ann Jaster, OP is an ardent anti-fracking advocate, community gardener, and all-around proponent of protecting and preserving Earth. Highlights of her ministry have been co-founding EarthLinks, an environmental non-profit organization in Denver, and helping to change legislation to approve beekeeping in the Village of Ossining. She now works at Mariandale in the Co-Op for Earthsake, where she invites anyone in the local community to join her environmental efforts.
Below, Sister Bette Ann shares her poem All in a Day, which summarizes one day of her current ministry.
All in a Day
“Shock and Awe” The cusp of Spring; Night and Day; Darkness and Light.
Snow covers our land though sun is overhead bright
What mystery a day brings as it unfolds.
Early writing of Vigil invitation to Governor’s home
offering thanks while seeking serious answers to life-and-death questions.
Where are the studies? Vs., the people’s right to know.
Lives are at stake for residents, water, air, habitat
Fossil fuel is old-school; Renewables time has come.
Hospice the old, grow the new.
Come pray to find a way!
Invasive vines, nuisance trees, mug wart weeds
are on their way out.
Eco-beneficial plants are on their way in.
Bees, bugs, and birds await in the wings.
Bluebird houses need builders; the Girl Scouts can’t come
Up pops our gardeners and activists’ children from
Croton, Ecuador, and Hartsdale (ages 2-18),
because soccer is canceled due to wet fields.
An avid birder appeared via neighbors walking our land.
Her time and materials donated by Audubon.
Homes for birds: by neighbors with love.
Dinner and women all gathered to share
their day at the U.N. on the Status of Women
from Vietnam, Cambodia, Nigeria,
Kentucky, Long Island, Pakistan,
Mexico, Ireland, Montana, and
Food and stories feed their souls.
Up pops two of us and onward we go
to a Town Hall gathering in Yorktown nearby
A new fracked gas pipeline is coming their way:
People gather from near and from far
both curious and fearful neighbors, activists and homeowners alike
come for support, facing the dark and offering light.
Grappling with details, appalled by the truth,
Anguish and gratitude are met with de-light.
Harsh realities faced become willing to fight.
Learning from others who’ve been through the mill
Discovering we’re not alone gives way to insight.