Photo: stef thomas (flickr)
I know it’s not really Earth’s birthday, but that is just how my kids see it.
As a homeschooling family with a geeky streak, we spend a lot of our lives living outside experiencing the earth, and seeing the changes that happen naturally throughout the year. We also pay close attention to the earth’s reaction to people’s abuse of it. Yes folks, we are that family who stops to pick up the fast food bag you dropped in the parking lot.
We do have a tradition of celebrating Earth day. Every year, no matter what the weather, we go to our local park and spend the day. At first, we scout out the trash that needs removing. Everyone carries their 5 gallon pail and tries to be the first to fill it up. There is something both inspiring and sad in that.
Over shouts of joy at finding some oddball thing like a ball of fishing line the size of a baseball, or a cooler with the entire side broken out, we also take notice of what is growing/hatching/living in our park. Fish are caught using cups we find and studied in someone’s emptied bucket. Lunch is eaten, fish are released, and then we sit listening to nature.
We do not participate in an organized event to celebrate. We simply give the Earth our undivided attention for the day. It reminds us of the importance of walking gently, and shows my children the impact that we have, when days go by and we don’t pay attention.
I truly think that Earth Day should be one that entices us all to get outside and remember where we live. It is important get back in touch with the Earth in order to have compassion and feel a desire to save her.
This Earth Day, why don’t you turn off your computers and get outside to taste the flavor of fresh air.