It’s raining here on Earth Day, which I know probably blows for the event organizers. But our beloved diamond in the rough planet really needed a drink today in this little corner of it. As I went out backpacking for a couple of days last week, I trudged over trails that should have been snow covered and crossed spring-runs that ran nothing, absent of water at a time when they should be abundant.
As the rain hits my skylight, it drums a little beat of praise, which makes me glad.
What a strange world we’ve created through global warming, a world where winter didn’t come to the West Coast and yet a prolonged brutal one tortured the East. We’ve seen the droughts and the wildfires and the destroyed crops and closed ski resorts and empty lakes and yet we still seem more concerned with denying we’ve played a part with our billions of gallons of gas and wasteful consumption. We deny it exists like RJ Reynolds on trial against millions of smokers. When we do admit global warming is actually a “thing,” and not something Al Gore invented to sell some books and force us all to buy new appliances, we say “it’s not our fault” — “we” meaning humanity, as if something else is out there to blame — and go right on defending our right to destroy this blue/green celestial miracle. We are the collective reincarnation of Nero, fiddling while Rome burns.
I am forever grateful for those visionaries of Earth Day. Way back when, it seemed gimmicky. It took nearly 20 years for me to pay attention to it. Now, it’s importance cannot be understated. If they hadn’t pushed so hard, my ignorance would surely remain.
This past week we’ve read news of astronomers scanning the vastness of God’s universe in faint hope of finding a similar little planetary miracle like Earth that could actually sustain life. They are 500,000 light years away and have just a couple of candidates. I’m not sure how far that really is, but I know it’s not on Google maps in my lifetime. I’m stuck with this Earth — this beautiful, incredible, artistic Mona Lisa of creation — and I’m grateful of those who force its care into our attention.
I’m going to dance a little in the rain today to remind myself that each day I make a choice: to care for what God has blessed us with or to destroy it by my thousands of little choices. This year, this Earth Day, join me in a desire to make a few better ones this year than we did the year before.
What type of choices? Well, there’s so many that are so easy. Perhaps we can make a great long list here in the comments. I’ll start.
- Drink water from the local tap instead of from plastic bottles hauled across the country.
- Bike or walk locally to limit short car trips.
- Plant a garden and eat local vegetables.
And… the list could go on endlessly as small steps to honor the Earth, care for it and keep protecting it for generations to come.