A Seed for Thought
Earth Day is almost over for this year. Most of the nation experienced a clear, mild day to get out and say “hello” to Mother Earth. News stories were ran. Parades were walked. Festivals were attended. Trees were planted and litter collected.
I was able to get out for my lunch break and take a long walk in the nearby woods. I happily took myself and my camera through the forest and had a wonderful adventure. I came back to my office cleaned out, grounded, and with mud on my dress shoes. It was later in the day that I was struck with the first chord of melancholy. It rose from a simple thought that would not leave me alone.
How far have we come that we only celebrate the Earth and Nature once a year?
Stop and think about it for a minute. Seems a little odd, doesn’t it? Something as complex, amazing and self-sustaining as the Earth and we only give it one day?
Maybe that’s why we’re in the mess we’re in now?
I would like to suggest something a little different. I think Earth Day should be something similar to New Year’s Day, also an international, non-religious holiday. Let’s treat it like a marker. It’s no mistake that Earth Day is placed in the Spring. It’s a time for a new start, a rejuvenation.
Like a New Year’s resolution, lets look at Earth Day and figure out one thing, in relation to the natural world around you, which you are going to change and attempt to carry through for the rest of the year. It doesn’t have to be something large scale. Matter of fact, it’ll be easier to do if it is not. Keep it close to yourself, local. Maybe it’s a focus on recycling? Pledge to cultivate some native plants in your yard? Promise to donate, even a small amount, to one environmental charity for a year? I think you get the idea.
What about extending Earth Day a bit past this one day thing? On any other major holiday or any special day of personal significance (birthday, anniversary), you could tack on some Earth Day like attitudes. Have a birthday party in the park. Go for a hike on your anniversary. What about a friend’s birthday? Maybe you only do this once or twice a year in addition to the original Earth Day. That’s still better than one single day a year!
We love a holiday. We love a reason to celebrate. Earth Day is perfect for this. The parties are getting bigger, the awareness is spreading. This is a good thing. However, lets add a little something extra and with sticking power. The world is a place that presses us daily with jostling ideas and chaotic action. It’s easy to get distracted, to forget.
So, I ask you, what are you going to do over the next year to keep some awareness on the planet and the natural world around you?
I already know mine. You’re reading it.
As a bonus, here is a list of some nice Earth Day inspired sites I found today. (The one I posted this morning has been so kindly put behind a log-in subscription screen at the New York Times.)
And a few quotes as well…
“Nature abhors a vacuum, and if I can only walk with sufficient carelessness I am sure to be filled.” -Henry David Thoreau
“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.” – Walt Whitman
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu