Every Day IS Earth Day
Happy Belated Earth Day. Does it seem odd to anyone else that we have designated one day of the year as Earth Day? Shouldn’t every day be Earth Day?
If you think about it, every day IS Earth Day. For Us. We wake up in the morning and go to bed at night on the same planet, every day. We have one choice of which planet to live on. Currently it is the only choice. Personally I believe it is the only logical and ethical choice, ever. I don’t want to hear about our colonizing other planets someday. Why? So we can use them up and degrade them and then discard them when they no longer serve us well? We look at the Earth as our slave, our supplier, our playground. It’s all about “US”. But without her, there would be no US.
The Earth is OUR life support system. It is THE life support system for every living thing. It is an intricately evolved environment with amazing checks and balances–balances being the key word–that supports an incredibly diverse population of flora and fauna, so much so that it is impossible for us to know the exact number of species that have evolved along with the planet and no longer exist, or to enumerate at any given time the number currently in existence.
And the Earth is so beautiful. Every visual element of beauty that we admire from symmetry to asymmetry, from form to color to light, is an element of something found in the Earth environment. And what of the fragrances and the songs and the textures and the flavors we find here? Who can resist the flavor of vanilla bean or cinnamon or chocolate or honey? Or the scent of orange blossoms, jasmine or the lowly clover? And what would life anywhere be like, without the music of song birds, rivers and the wind? Or the rhythm of the waves? None of it exists anywhere that we know of. Just here. On our Earth.
Yes, the Earth is our life support. It supports our physical lives, but it also provides for our sense of well-being and peace and joy. It is our model for beauty. It provides inspiration for our highest forms of artistic expression. For some of us, it is the great love of our lives. I know when I sit on the beach and listen to the waves and watch eagles soar overhead or lean on a rake out in the yard mesmerized by natural beauty, the swelling I feel in my heart can only be one thing. It’s love. Love in its purest and most basic form. Like the love between a mother and child. I know at those times that the Earth is my mother and I am filled with love and gratitude and respect and concern for her. I know she gives me life. I know that she sustains and enhances my life. Mother Earth.
But we take her so for granted. We live so much of our lives with our eyes closed to the awesomeness of Earth. We have constructed our societies and communities in ways that make it convenient to ignore our impacts on the beautiful life support system we depend upon. We drag our trash can to the curb, and forget about it. We fill our gas tanks and complain about the cost, rarely reflecting on the true costs of the industry and politics of fossil fuel extraction. We drink our bottled water and our Keurig coffees and we eat our sushi and never even think about the islands of plastic waste floating in our oceans or the nuclear waste water percolating around the Pacific with our tuna. For the majority of us, the effects of the plastic micro beads in our moisturizers and exfoliants are represented by an unpleasant image on our Facebook page, a one second blip on the screen as we scroll down looking for something interesting to focus on. Oh look, a pretty picture, a recipe, a joke.
Respect and gratitude and concern for the well-being of the Earth is something we could all practice every day. We all have an impact on the Earth we share. The future of the Earth and it’s inhabitants is all about US. We can argue endlessly about whether or not climate change and the warming of the oceans are a man-made or natural occurrence. Go ahead and argue about it. But it won’t change the fact that it’s occurring. It won’t change the fact that businesses in Miami are flooding and glaciers in our Western Mountains are shrinking and the oyster industry in the Pacific Northwest is struggling with the acidification of the oceans. Those facts won’t change. It won’t change the fact that solar and wind are cleaner and healthier energy sources than fossil fuels and have less impact on the environment. It won’t change the fact that less coal and gas and oil consumption means less air pollution and ground water contamination and will stop the earth from shaking so much in fracking-friendly states like Texas and Oklahoma. It won’t change the fact that if the climate change deniers are wrong, their childrens-childrens-children will curse US for it. We can’t change any of that with arguments.
I wish we would get on with it. I wish we would stop dreaming about colonizing Mars or some other planet yet discovered, and focus on taking care of what we have right here. I wish we would stop arguing about it–our Earth. Our beautiful Earth. Our life support system.
I wish we would all love the Earth and learn to give back to her for all she gives us.
I wish everyday was Earth Day. For everybody.
©2016 by Ilona Elliott