A celebration is in order. April 22nd is officially designated as Earth Day, a day set aside to recognize the importance of Mother Earth and all the gifts she generously bestows on us.
Many people plant a tree and I have mine chosen for this year, a poplar or popple as we used to call them, which always brings me back to my childhood home on a northern Wisconsin lake where summer was a barefoot dream and every day was filled with only the sounds of the woods.
One of those sounds was the music of the poplar tree as the wind played among the little round leaves and chimed a woodland song. The single note of the leaves reminds me of the other instruments in the orchestra as I laid in my bed at night back in that cabin. The long mournful cry of the loon in the dark, the rhythmic tinkling of the lake meeting the shore punctuated by the deep croak of a bullfrog, almost out of place amongst the higher pitched songs of tree and green lipped frogs but somehow the sounds all became one. My sweet reminder that life is not what we have or who we know, but the stolen moments in between.
These are the gifts of Mother Earth.
What can you do to recognize Earth Day this week? Plant something that has a significance for you. Maybe pick up litter on the side of the highway. Switch to non-chemical lawn fertilizer for the season. (Did you know mulched leaves on the lawn are as effective as commercial fertilizer?) Pick weeds by hand rather than commercial weed killers...get your hands into the lovely soil of the earth! Resist the temptation to yank those dandelions until other flowers are available for the pollinators. Set out a bunch of dog hair for the nesting birds. Sign a petition that preserves some tiny piece of Mother Earth.
By demonstrating in a private way with intention, we are saying ‘Thank You’ to her and all she has provided and will provide. Without her, we cannot exist. Without her, there are no trails to walk with our dogs, there is no birdsong to wake us, no wild place to replenish our spirit. There is no food, no shelter, no life.
Please take a moment from the business of life to recognize the generosity of her gifts and give something back for all she has blessed us with.
A little thing, done once by many people becomes a movement, becomes global and saves a tiny piece of the Earth and her children for others who may want to lay in bed at night and listen to the poplar leaves sing in the summer breeze.