For the past week, I have been helping to co-organize and host an entire week of events in honor of Earth Day! In fact, I’ve given the better part of 25 years, almost the entirety of my education, and my best sharpies, to doing what I can to protect the environment, trying to help people understand why it is so imperative that we give a sh*t! Yesterday, April 22nd, marked the 42nd Earth Day Celebration! A time to humbly bask in all the essence Mother Nature has provided us and revel in simplicity. Because Stephanie loves quotes and I love the earth, I’m hoping this serves to inspire!
I read an interview yesterday with Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia. If only other companies could take his viewpoint: “My wife and I give 50 percent of our salaries away to charity. I don’t need the money. I don’t hang out with other businessmen. I’m a surfer for God’s sake. The only reason I hang on to this company is that I’m totally pessimistic about the fate of the planet. I feel like I couldn’t sleep at night unless I felt like I was part of the solution…We’ve got to go back to absolute local living. You protect what you love, and how can you love something when you’re just looking for new loves all the time?” http://www.surfermag.com/features/unconventional-wisdom/
If you’ve never read Wendell Berry, you should. “None has ever thought of its connection to its home place as “ecological,” deep or shallow. The terms themselves are culturally sterile. They come from the juiceless, abstract intellectuality of the universities, which was invented to disconnect, displace, and disembody the mind. The real names of the environment are the names of rivers and river valleys; creeks, ridges, and mountains; towns and cities; lakes, woodlands, lanes roads, creatures, and people.”
Take time to find your place, a space that means something to you and hold onto it. Without that reverence, it is impossible to breed the connection we really need!
I live in a town that was hit quite hard by Hurricane Irene. No one was prepared. The river had its way with the town, to say the least, swallowing entire bridges and homes, ripping apart roads. This week, at a symposium, I heard voices speak about the devastation and aftermath of the storm. The unifying theme was the way people spoke of the river. Referring to “her” and saying things like the river went where it wanted, it made its own path, forced its way into new lines ignoring the previous bends. Echoing Mr. Berry’s sentiment, the people personified the river giving her emotion and sense of life as a sentient being apart from man. They have lived on this river for the all of their lives. It is their place.
No matter where our differences lie, we are all connected through the environment. Mother Nature does not know or understand socio-economic status, race, creed or sex. She is blind to classes, nationalities, injustice and inequality. The implications our actions have upon the environment affect all of us. Everyday. Eternally.
Do what you can everyday and always respect your mother. Although we are past the point of miniscule change being the answer, even the smallest of steps matter. For they lead to larger steps and stand as an example.
Til Next Time,