Earth Day has rolled around once again, and as I take in the view this spring of our beautiful planet, I am reminded that the only thing in life that is constant is change. Seasons move from one to the other, not all at once, but a slow and subtle movement that glides along as shifts in colors, textures, and sounds.
As I reflect on the past year, I’m aware of how Mother Nature can really keep us on our toes! She’s been unpredictable this year, changing up our seasonal experiences a bit. We had a hurricane at the end of August and snow in October here in Delaware, only to be followed by such a mild winter that our spring plants bloomed 2-4 weeks early! Winter hikes were pleasant and mild, but we needed to be vigilant about checking for ticks, as our insects never really went dormant.
Even though many of us spend most of our lives indoors due to jobs and school, we are all still very much connected to the earth and dependent upon her for survival. If we recognize nothing else, we should understand that weather changes affect the food chain, and the water quality of the local streams and rivers affects our drinking water. Every living thing needs food and water to survive – resources we’re all sharing together on this beautiful planet we call home.
This Earth Day, I would ask you to spend a few minutes and allow yourself to feel how everything on this planet is connected. Let’s take a short journey…
Take a slow, deep breath and picture a local stream or river. See how it flows around rocks, gently hugging the banks, with the sunlight reflecting off the moving water as if it’s dancing. Allow yourself to feel that soothing flow for a minute. Gentle, relaxing, constantly moving, except in a few shallow places near the bank where gentle pools host a nursery of tadpoles. Now imagine dipping your feet in a cool pool of that water on a hot summer day. Ahhh! Look into the water, and see the fish swimming along, the birds scooping down to take a sip or hunt for food, and a fisherman downstream looking for a good catch. This is your water source. This is the water you drink. We don’t make water…we just borrow it from the local sources and clean it of bacteria and other things so it’s safe to drink. This water belongs to us all.
Now picture a field in summer, with plants reaching their full height. Plump tomatoes hang on the vine waiting to be picked, bright green peas and beans dangle gently, and crisp green burst from the earth as spinach and lettuce, promising vital nutrients to our bodies. Corn grows tall waiting for harvest to become much of our cereals and snacks, and the wheat bends gently in the breeze, knowing it will turn into breads and cereals and so many other things to feed our bodies.
Now, turn back time a few months…back to when the plants first flowered. They eagerly await the pollinators so that the fruit/veggies will be able to develop. Picture the bees, butterflies, birds and bats that move from flower to flower, carrying pollen along their journey, helping the creation of that fruit along the way.
Let’s journey back a little further into time…when the pollinators were born. Lots of animals help pollinate. They need a place to be born and raised so that they can continue the cycle. Insects of all sorts (bees, butterflies, flies, beetles, ants and others) as well as birds, bats, and some mammals have a role in pollination. Just like us, they need shelter, food, water, air, and space to survive. Healthy habitat produces healthy pollinators, healthy food, and healthy humans.
We’re all connected. Humans have such a huge impact on our planet and are ultimately the ones who decide the health of it. Things like habitat destruction and pollution affects every living thing, especially us. Extinction of one species is like having a piece of a jigsaw puzzle missing. Everything is delicately balanced and connected.
This Earth Day, I wish you all the beauty and blessings the earth has to offer. And I hope we can all see how we fit into this giant puzzle known as our home, and how we can be a part of keeping it healthy, for one and all. Happy Earth Day!
Love & Light,