Skip to content

Earth Day!!

April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day everybody!

This morning dawned bright and sunny, and very, very green.

With all the things going on right now in the news: scientists engineering rice using human genes, genetically engineering cows to produce human breast milk, the intensity of the attack on the planet raging out of control…sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in all of it. In the craziness of the crimes perpetrated against the very planet that sustains us.

Sometimes I forget to look at the miraculous things I have just in our tiny fenced off plot of sand, and trees, and grass, and life.

If you have a moment today, try and come out of yourself for a bit. Try to look closely at what’s growing around you. Each and every form of life existing in your yard, your home, your workplace. Every single tree you see has a circulatory system. Every leaf you step on was once an unidentifiable glob of cells ready to form into a leaf bud, then a leaf; absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing life-giving oxygen, finally drying out and falling to the earth where it will decompose and enable the cycle to continue.

Every tree knows how to live. They know to reach down as far as they can go to find water. They know to reach as high as they can to try and touch the sun. Some flowers know to hold in their seeds for as long as they possibly can, until they can’t take it any longer and something finally sets them off and then BOOM! they fling their seeds as far as they can, thereby ensuring healthy seedlings because they’ll have a nice space to grow. Or birds will eat the seeds and drop them somewhere wonderful where they can thrive and do it all over again.

Last summer when I grew my sunflowers, I witnessed their call to the ants that loved to climb their sturdy stems. I wanted sunflowers in a vase, and the very moment I touched those plants I could smell chemicals the plant was releasing in response to the danger I posed. Within seconds of that scent, ants were swarming from the ground, up the stalks and doing their best to defend their food and shelter from me. It was amazing.

Many times the only real, true calm I get is when I’m sitting outside puttering in the garden and listening to the birds sing. Or studying the hundreds of veins on a leaf, or feeling the electricity right before a raging thunderstorm, smelling the scent of cold, clean water that comes on the wind.

The connectedness of every living thing on the planet is so evident the moment we take the time to look. How could we have forgotten so rapidly? What made us desire this distance and utter detachment from the very stuff that made us?

Almost looks fake, he's so tiny and perfect (I wish they were ALL this little!).

As I was typing this post, I kept hearing, “THUNK, THUNK, rustle, rustle, THUNK!” So I looked out the window and got to watch an enormous woodpecker tearing off pieces of bark on one of the branches of the big oak in front of our house and flinging them to the ground. As I’m watching, a blur of black and red comes in and a second woodpecker goes after the first, sending  the first guy reeling and streaking angry red and black all over the yard, finally landing on the same branch where he takes up tearing off bark again.

As that’s happening, a hawk swoops in and tries to snatch something, sending all the birds into a frenzy of alarm and panic and squawking and indignant, wild flapping wings. Right this second, I’m watching a squirrel watch us (me and the cats) watch him eating an acorn. I can see his little poochy belly and his nose going wildly as I think he can smell us.

Mother Nature sure knew what she was doing. I know we can do a better job of not messing it up. Here’s to a Happy Earth Day and an appreciation for the miracles we have all around us, every moment of every day. We just have to remember to see them.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2011 9:10 am

    This was a beautiful post. Just beautiful.

  2. Scott permalink
    April 22, 2011 9:11 am

    Happy Earth Day!

  3. Teresa permalink
    April 25, 2011 7:18 am

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s