Last year Gates was going through his calendar infatuation phase. Not a single holiday escaped his notice. When Earth Day rolled around on a Sunday he bounded into church greeting one and all with an enthusiastic “Happy Earth Day!” (Reason #101 in my list of why I love my church; not one single adult just brushed him aside, they all responded to him with the same measure of joy he was giving to them.)
But why not celebrate Earth Day for all it’s worth? Even if you don’t take part in organized celebrations, get outside and celebrate the wonder of creation. We have been given such an incredible gift in our earth; a gift that unwraps itself each morning in the sunrise. We’ve been given a gift that encompasses all of our senses. Majestic mountains, clear lakes, birdsong, the whir of a hummingbird in flight, the taste of ripe fruit, the smell of a rose, the soft grass that tickles our back as we gaze up at the clouds in the sky. Get out there! See, hear, touch, taste and smell the gift! And tonight, give thanks.
It is an amazing gift, don’t you agree? A gift that deserves to be well cared for, treasured, respected. This Earth Day, what can you add to your list of things you do to care for this gift? Recycle? Pick up trash when you see it lying around?
Last year, if you had told me I would be doing all my grocery shopping with reusable bags this year I would have laughed. That was just too radical a step to take here in the midwest. People would look at me like I was weird. Then I started doing some reading. I started looking at the plastic bag counter whirring away at http://www.reusablebags.com/. I started getting frustrated at the mound of plastic bags I realized was taking over my closet. And I went out and got some reusable bags. Amazingly enough, once you start becoming a radical you don’t really care if people think you are radical anymore. And reusable bags led to cloth diapers and more careful consideration of how and where I shopped. And this year? I’m planting a vegetable garden. (Run, little plants, run for your lives!)
So pick one thing this year. One step that you can take. It doesn’t have to big, it doesn’t have to scream ‘radical hippy chick’ to everyone around you. You don’t have to go out and buy a hybrid car or put solar panels on your house. Just turn off the lights when you leave a room. Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth. Start to recycle if you aren’t already. Try your hand at gardening. (Those with small lots or less than desirable soil might want to do a search for Square Foot Gardening.) Start bringing your own bags to the store.
Today, celebrate the gift. Make a plan to care for it.
Happy Earth Day!