Happy Earth Day, Earthlings!

The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970 and marks what some consider the birth of the Environmental Movement.   Of course, cultures throughout history have celebrated and appreciated the earth according to their particular perspectives.  Harvest festivals, rain rituals, volcano appeasement, fertility festivals, river ceremonies…I can think of many ways that humans have venerated the earth.  Since 1990, when the Earth Day campaign went global, we’ve focused on the planet as a whole.   We are the ones who have seen it (at least in pictures) as a whole from outer space, and I think we are realizing more and more how our relationship to the Earth is effecting that picture.  Large scale weather patterns, extinction rates, pollution and population are just some of the issues that are “going big” in our consciousness.   This is all very well, and at the same time, each of us has a particular and specific and local intimacy with Earth that should never be overlooked.

NaPoWriMo is acknowledging Earth Day with its prompt to write a poem about a plant.  I have so many favorite Earth/Nature/Flower/Animal poems already dear to my heart that I’m having a hard time being original, so I think I’m just going to share a few favorites with you here instead.  The first one is a lullaby that my mother used to sing to me.  I have no idea of its origin.  I just hear Mom sing:

White coral bells upon a slender stalk,

Lilies of the valley deck my garden walk.

Oh! Don’t you wish that you could hear them ring?

That will happen only when the faeries sing!

Here’s one I wrote back in March as I looked at my lilac bush:

When will the buds appear this year?

When will the lilac be full in bloom?

When will that perfume make fair the air?

When will that purple bedeck my room?

Soon, oh, soon; let it be soon!

I’ve been wearing lilac oil from a little vial that Jim bought me when we were on Mackinac Island years ago.  A few drops on my neck assures me that the fragrance of my favorite flower will not fade too quickly from my consciousness. 

I took a walk yesterday to photograph some of my local earth miracles.  May I present:

White tail deer

Bleeding heart

Red Admiral butterfly

Tulips, daffodils, hyacinth

And to represent the hippie protesters and the environmental movement, I have to share one of my favorite earth songs.  Nanci Griffith, “From A Distance” (written by Julie Gold).  Socks with sandals, passion and integrity.  She moves me.

Love our planet, today and every day.  Treat her and all life with respect.  Please.

12 thoughts on “Happy Earth Day, Earthlings!

  1. “White Coral Bells” is an old Girl Scout song–I learned it in Brownies and I’ve seen it in old GS song books. I bet Mom learned it in Scouts too.
    I miss lilacs so much; not very common in CA. Like Dharam, they remind me of River Forest. We had them in the Marblehead yard also.

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