Amid news of pandemic and war, Easter not only holds God’s promise of new life, it also reminds us of how closely our lives intertwine with all of creation on this planet that Pope Francis calls “our common home.”

So how can families and parish groups celebrate a creation-conscious Easter this year? A good way to start is with hands in the earth, planting seeds, says Marie Dennis, former co-president of Pax Christi International.

The whole family can plan the garden, even if it’s in pots on the porch, with older members helping young children decide what seeds to plant. If it’s too cold to sow seeds outside, “start the plants indoors and tend them through the Easter season, moving them outside when it is warm enough,” she said. “Read a story or talk about the importance of nurturing our relationships with all of creation.”

In preparation, the family can take a trip to the library to look up Easter traditions from different countries, she adds”

One of those traditions is the Easter egg hunt, which became a beloved part of Easter that Kathy Bond and Flavio Rocha, Maryknoll lay missioners in Brazil, shared with kids in São Paulo when their daughter Maya was small.

Bond placed candies or cookies in reusable plastic eggs, then hid them around a local city park. Kids decorated cloth bags, then fanned out to fill them with the eggs they found.

For a combination of prayer and care for the Earth at Easter, a family or parish can organize a “litter pilgrimage,” suggests Brenna Davis, director of education for justice and environmental initiatives at the Ignatian Solidarity Network.

This can be a meditative individual activity, too, but if you’re walking with a group, plan out the route in advance and have a starting and ending time. Have bags or buckets on hand in two colors – one for trash and one for recyclables.

Or for a meditative awakening to God’s love poured out through creation, individuals, families or parish groups could take the advice the pastor of my parish offered years ago when I lived in West Virginia: “Go for a walk in the woods and remember that all of this was made for you.”

Barbara Fraser is a freelance journalist based in Lima, Peru.