A few thoughts on what Earth Day means for all of us.
From my window right now, I can see two European magpies exploring my small garden – I mowed the lawn for the first time this year, and I suppose they are scouting for anything interesting that was revealed. The resident flock of sparrows is watching the magpies from the safety of a plum tree, and the cherry tree is casting a soft rain of white petals. I’m inside (for the moment), but that doesn’t make me feel any less a part of the scene just a few yards from where I’m sitting.
I’ve always been puzzled by the notion that caring about what happens to our environment is something humans can choose to do, or not to do. It’s one of our great shortcomings, I think, that so many people and cultures see humans as separate from nature itself; mankind is superior, the apex of creation, the eyes and the brains observing nature as if at arm’s length.
And so we have Earth Day to remind us to think about how important Nature with a capital N is for our well-being. Those who honor or participate in Earth Day also try to remind everyone else that actually, every day is Earth Day. Those who don’t participate might see it as a waste of time for something that doesn’t concern them.
Regardless, we are all profoundly a part of nature – we are just as much a part of nature as a branch is a part of a tree. Nature isn’t ‘out there’ – it’s you and every interaction you have.
In the smallest and in the largest ways, individually and collectively, we are woven into the fabric of what’s around us. And everything we do, from eating to producing waste to reproducing, is a part of that fabric. For better or for worse. While there are certainly many people with few options at their disposal, so many of us think we don’t have the time or energy to make environmental choices – and by doing so, we’ve already made a decision.
This year’s Earth Day theme is reduction of plastic waste – so what are you doing, today and every day, to increase or minimize the tidal wave of plastic that is quite literally suffocating your water supply, polluting the land that grows your food, and infiltrating your fellow creatures?
On Earth Day, which I feel obligated to say is actually every day, what are you, a part of nature, doing to impact the rest of your world?