Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

Random Thoughts on Earth Day

in Community, Nature

(Earth Day morning!  This is the same view as the photo I took two days ago. Welcome Spring!)

I have a few thoughts and links for you today, on Earth Day 2008.

Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, makes a good case in this NY Times editorial for why we should bother to “go green” these days, in the face of discouragement and despair that whatever we do won’t be enough to turn the tide of global climate change.

It’s about a change in consciousness.

“Sometimes you have to act as if acting will make a difference, even when you can’t prove that it will,”  Pollan writes.   “That, after all, was precisely what happened in Communist Czechoslovakia and Poland, when a handful of individuals like Vaclav Havel and Adam Michnik resolved that they would simply conduct their lives ‘as if’ they lived in a free society. That improbable bet created a tiny space of liberty that, in time, expanded to take in, and then help take down, the whole of the Eastern bloc.”

He goes on to suggest that we each find one thing to do in our lives “that doesn’t involve spending or voting, that . . .  is real and particular (as well as symbolic) and that, come what may, will offer its own rewards. Maybe you decide to give up meat, an act that would reduce your carbon footprint by as much as a quarter. Or you could try this: determine to observe the Sabbath. For one day a week, abstain completely from economic activity: no shopping, no driving, no electronics.”  Or we could try his favorite:  growing some of our own food.  I’m not quite ready to do that, but I will continue buying my fresh veggies from local farmers or the public market.

(For more ideas on individual actions to take, check out Google’s cool interactive Earth Day 2008 map.)

Perhaps our individual actions don’t amount to as much as the difference one corporation or government entity could make, but is that any reason not to try?  We need to be in this for the long haul, long after “going green” is no longer as trendy and fashionable as it is today.  And as Pollan says, it truly is about the shift in consciousness.

That statement reminds me of the saying (attributed to Gandhi) that “we must be the change we want to see in the world.”  Which leads me to ruminate on last night’s web class with Eckhart Tolle, in which he advises a young woman to do her activist’s work from a place of inner peace rather than anger or agitation.  “If you are in a state of peace then everything you do in the world will bring peace to the world, and that’s how you change the world.”

Meanwhile Beth OwlsDaughter today reminds of Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ inspiring manifesto Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times.

Cate Kerr graces us with a beautiful photo and poem.

And James Wells reminds us to “Go for a walk outside and take a deep, deep breath.  Admire a big, old tree.  Plant something in your garden.  Unplug appliances that aren’t used very often.  Donate money to help save a forest or an animal species.  Write a poem.  Jot down 10 things in nature for which you’re grateful.  Whatever is joyful and honours Life is a good celebration of Earth Day.”

Happy Earth Day, everyone.  Let’s make it last more than just one day.

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • sophia Tue - Apr 22nd 2008 11:30 am

    quite an amazing spot you’ve got there!
    and what a view.
    so happy for you to be able to enjoy.
    and thank you for sharing with the rest of us.

  • Angelica Wed - Apr 23rd 2008 5:00 pm

    In honour of Earth Day I felt I had to write a letter of acknowledgement:
    Dear Mother Gaia,
    Thank you for supporting me so wonderfully with your body. All that you are and all that you create around you are amazing. Thank you for oxygen, the waters, the plants and the soils they grow in. Thank you for the minerals, gasses and chemicals. Thank you for the mountains, the deserts, the forests, the meadows, the beaches, the rivers, the oceans, the lava flows. Thank you for the snow, the rain, the sunshine, the sleet and hail, the tornados and hurricanes, the thunder and lightening. Thank you for the insects, birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, and many types of bacteria and fungus. All these and more make an incredible banquet of beauty for my eyes to see, my ears to hear, my lips to taste, my nose to smell, my fingers to touch, and my mind to appreciate.
    I’m sorry for the times I did not notice, the times I misused your precious resources, and the times I injured you in any way. I apologize for thinking you are here just for me, and for trying to be controlling instead of being a caretaker. I promise to be more consciously aware of how I walk upon you, how I use your gifts.
    I recognize you as an expression of the One Divine Life, expressing in many forms. I, too, am one of those forms and I will not forget again. I will love you unconditionally as you have loved me.
    And So It Is.

  • Kim Antieau Thu - Apr 24th 2008 12:31 pm

    Lovely, lovely. Hope you’re getting settled. I love Michael Pollan, and Cate Kerr, and you!
    Happy Earth Day, Sister Joanna Mermaid.
    P.S. You said to let you know when the new website it up; it’s up!

  • Joanna Fri - Apr 25th 2008 4:10 am

    Great job on the site, Kim! It’s simple and easy and very YOU! I love the handmade collage banners at the top of both and also the Old Mermaids site! Yay!

  • Laura Mon - Apr 28th 2008 1:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing all of these!