Today is April 22nd, and it’s the 46th April that has recognized an ‘official’ day to honor the Earth. As the day fades into night, the moon is full and shining over the waters of our little lake. We have a full length window in our shower, (weird, I realize….the former owners of our home had some slightly odd design ideas..) and as I washed off the day’s grime after putting my daughter to bed, I felt like a moon goddess being purified as the water shimmered under the tawny light. (or something like that…at any rate, the perk of having a full length mirror in your shower that looks out over a lake is a great view of the lake. It’s worth noting that we have no close neighbors.) So let’s start with that.
*Strategy number one to live earth day: Find your inner nature goddess. Doesn’t necessarily matter what specific kind of goddess, just make sure it’s one grounded in something real. Something of nature. Moon, stars, sun, flower, earth, rain, wind, stone….do whatever it takes to feel connected to that part of you that is attuned to the Earth. We have all have it, sometimes it just gets pushed down and covered up. Dig way down or use a pick axe if you have to. But find your goddess. Let her drive sometimes.
Earlier today, Eva my four year old and I spent the afternoon at a community event put on by a local natural foods store (soon to be co-op) and the public library. Upon our arrival, we sat in the sun and dug our hands into soil, clay, water and wildflower seeds to make “seed bombs” to scatter around wherever we think there needs to be a bit more wild, a bit more life, and a bit more natural beauty. After a brief visit to the library’s resident ducklings and tadpoles, we went back outside to join a circle of about twenty people to do a ‘global healing meditation‘ for the earth. And then we each got a djembe and started drumming. The intention was the send the rhythms that we create collectively into the earth as a symbol of healing and love. Next came some songs for mother earth, followed by a screening of the film “Fresh” which is about the importance of eating sustainably and organically. A pretty great line-up of events, really. It felt like community is supposed to feel – alive, authentic and rooted in actions that bring us closer together and in tune with working for sustainable change that will better the quality of life for all beings.
*Strategy number two to live earth day: Find your people. Find the people in your community who share your values, who are working for the same things you are and who want to talk about it. Embrace the other folks, too, of course, but be intentional about finding your tribe. Living in a way that supports caring for the earth isn’t easy and we all need support doing it. Find your people. Talk to them. Go to events where they will be present. Maybe even invite them over for dinner. Tell your story and listen to theirs.
Before we arrived at the Earth Day event, Eva and I spent some time on our favorite trail, the “trail of myths” at Wert Nature Preserve. This time of year the water plants are popping up, tiny wildflowers carpet the forest floor and the waters in the many streams bubble happily in the sun, freed from their icy winter jackets. We hiked a ways, stopped to poke some sticks in the water, examined interesting tree bark and mushrooms and hiked some more. We returned to our car feeling shiny with beauty’s aftermath and more appreciative of the planet that we call home.
*Strategy number three to live earth day: Go outside. Every single day, go outside. Visit natural areas regularly if at all possible. Get to know a spot in your yard or the neighborhood park or the empty lot down the block. Plant a garden. Watch things grow. Notice the way the rocks glimmer under the water of a creek, how the tall grasses in the ditch move with the breeze and how the trees seem to bridge the gap between land and sky. Walk barefoot, lay in the sand, wrap your arms around a boulder or a big tree. Do things that make you feel like you are part of nature instead of just visiting it. Go outside. Love what you find. And take that love home with you and let it inform every choice you make.
How do you live earth day?