Editors Note: Current DC Service Corps member Nayeli Garcia reflects on a conversation she had with her fellow community member, Kevin Ruano. The question “what matters to you and why?” gave Nayeli insight into Kevin’s deep connection with the environment.

As our journey begins at the Casa San Salvador, we, as a community, are settling down and getting to know one another. Our new home has brought us many people from all over the US, ready to fill each other’s lives with joy and to be part of each other’s experiences.

Having lived at Casa for a few weeks, you would think that we’ve had the chance to get to know one another. This is true, but do we really know what matters to them? What makes them who they are as a person?

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to talk to Kevin one night while making dinner for the Casa community.

“What are you passionate about?”

Kevin: “Nature. My discovery in Brazil from waking up to the ocean, the forest, and my need to have an intimate relationship with nature. My body and mind are intricately connected. With time, I feel most curious with myself, to recognize my self-environment and its influences in my life, the way I am feeling and pursuing life. It is what I try to communicate to others every day, so others can see that in some way.”

As Kevin was telling me about his passion for nature, I did not fully comprehend what he was telling me, but this is how I interpreted it:

Nayeli: “You are trying to visualize what you are seeing, but nature won’t be the same as you are describing it, but the way you are seeing it in your eyes, it is perfect for you. It’s your vision.”

Kevin: “Exactly!”

“If we can all realize that we have this intricate relationship with nature and that nature can be this other person in which we can develop a sustainable and healthy relationship, a lot of what we deal with every day can faze out crisis. We are clearly having an impact in this world and it is often times an impact that is primarily based on our misunderstanding of nature, a complete violation of our rights, and what nature stands for.”

To wrap up our mini-interview (and to begin to serve dinner to our community), I wanted to know one more thing:

“What is the one thing in nature that makes you stop, makes you speechless all the time?”

Kevin: “The moon (laughs). Whenever I see the moon, it’s wild. It is a lot of things that you feel and it has a concrete science to it.”

“So, take the moon, the theory behind the moon is like that it came out of the earth, that something came crashing to the earth and the moon split away from earth. It’s like if you’re seeing the moon, it’s a body that spilt from the body; that’s your home. It was your home, but it split away from it. So, in a way it is your mother, but it’s your mother who left. Taking the earth as a body that houses us, sustains us, gives us food, and keeps us strong. Like the mother, well part of the mother, that went into space for you to look at her.”

“It’s kind of like a sci-fi, yet kind of poetic. And it has qualities that are based on science that are taken literally. That’s why am I particularly interested lately in really learning the science that forms the foundation of a lot of the things. I feel that it consistently informs me of my relationship with nature and my relationship with others.”

Kevin is such a sweet and amazing individual to talk to and I am really glad to have the chance to get to know what makes Kevin well, Kevin! Everyone in the Casa is bringing something to our community and I cannot wait to see or hear the wonderful stories or things they are able to share to the community.

Reflection Question: How do your passions play a role to allow you to grow in your relationship with God and/or your faith?