ON EARTH DAY: If you woke up on Earth this morning, it is another Earth day. As a young lady said to me this morning, there are so many things to fret about, so many things to grieve, many reasons to feel anxious. Many people who don’t care. But there are also successes: bald eagles nesting in our woods where, when I was a boy, there were none. Sand hill cranes and trumpeter swans returning in vast numbers, even whooping cranes making a comeback; wilderness areas protected; people all over this land and this planet striving to do more and save more, including protection from poisonous mining practices here in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters; people fighting to combat the effects of climate change… and a lot more. Does it all balance out? No. For one thing, children are spending far too little time outdoors, learning about and feeling at home on their planet, in their local woods, by a pond or a creek.
And that is one of the most important things adults can do. Make introductions. Say—without saying it in words—this flower is important, this woods is important, this wild space, this tree, these birds—just by noticing, showing HOW to notice, taking the time to make a simple introduction, to smell a flower.
Another important thing to do. For one’s own sanity and good spirit—be a part-time fanatic. Take time away from saving, worrying, grieving, to simply be here. To smell a lilac or to hear a robin. To feel for yourself how good it is to walk upon the Earth in the company of Life. And then the introductions—those small moments that you might think are unimportant or unnoticed, have all the more power and meaning. Happy Earth Day, everyone.