Now is the time for me to change the world. Now is the time for me to save Mother Earth. I’m serious.
My lovely friend Anna randomly passes out cards that say “You Matter.” She has given me some, because I keep giving away the ones she gives me. She believes I matter. I believe you matter. I believe we all matter. I believe Mother Earth matters and all her beings matter.
Here’s a partial list of what I’ve been doing over the past few weeks, in sort of random order. I share these with you so I have reminder of what I CAN do, and perhaps to offer you suggestions as well.
Breathe – long, slow, deep breaths
Send up prayers of gratitude
Send up prayers for others
Plant vegetables, herbs, flowers
Talk to the “animal” people with whom I share my world (squirrels, doves, mocking birds, blue jays, cardinals, hawks, sea gulls, great blue herons, terns, ospreys, pelicans, cormorants, blackbirds, grackles, crows, dolphins, crabs, periwinkles, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, deer, fish I can’t see, and more!)
Talk to the “plant” people with whom I share my world (water oaks, live oaks, cedars, grass, dandelions, sea oats, passionflower, pennywort, evening primrose, goldenrod, butterfly pea, Virginia creeper, catbrier, marsh elder, wax myrtle, yaupon, gaillardia, tomato, basil, lettuce, petunia, pansies, azaleas, oleander, and many I can’t name!)
Clean – really clean my house
Clean my yard
Declutter – really declutter
Talk to friends and family on the phone
Listen to music
Learn something new (a new way of podcasting)
Teach someone something (how to freeze veggies)
Try new recipes
Eat more healthily than I did a month ago
Shop locally with merchants whose names I know, and who know my name
And I’m sure there’s more that I can’t think of as I write this. I’m sure you have your ways of coping through this situation.
I hope that whatever you’re doing brings you peace and comfort. I hope that whatever you’re doing brings you an opportunity to assess what matters, what you value. I hope it helps you make decisions about how you will live in the “new normal” of the world.
I believe that I, isolated in my house, can change the world. By staying here, in my house, I may be saving my life by doing so. I may be saving your life. I know I’m helping save the planet.
Earth Day celebrates its fiftieth anniversary Wednesday, April 22. I remember the first one. Sitting in the grass, wishing I was cool enough to have a pair of those new “earth shoes,” eating an avocado and mung bean sprout sandwich on homemade wheat bread (all three were new to me), listening to music, and hearing speakers talking about “zero population growth.”
Much has changed, of course, over these 50 years, and there have been both devastating environmental travesties and great strides forward. I am heartened by how quickly over the past few weeks the smog has lifted in California, how brightly shine the Himalayas over India, how playfully the dolphin dance through Vienna’s canals. I’m dismayed by rubber gloves and masks floating in the oceans.
When will we learn? Now. The time is now. All I have to offer are platitudes, but powerful ones, I think, from really old bumper stickers that came out of those early Earth Day celebrations:
Live simply, so that others may simply live.
Think globally, act locally.