imagesFor the Beauty of the Earth — this lovely hymn came to mind as I woke this morning, Earth Day, and teared up at the wonder, the splendor, the extraordinary preciousness of this Pale Blue Dot we inhabit.

At a recent Suzuki Elders AGM, I heard Carl Sagan’s Blue Dot speech.  You might just want to take the three minutes right now and have a listen: Carl Sagan: Pale Blue Dot  or a look.

My tearing up comes from gratitude, being alive and well, with all the blessings I experience (when I pay the slightest attention, and don’t get lost in bizzy doing or fruitless churning).

And I also tear up for the crazy, horrendous ways we are continuing to destroying, plunder, damage beyond repair, our home’s fragile systems.  So it is good for me to read the first of NRDC’s suggested Earth Day Resolutions:  Be Positive!  

UnknownOne form that takes for me is Love. It opens my heart, and my eyes, and my ears.  Love the Earth, her peoples, her creatures, her incredible variety… When I ache, Love is the antidote.  When I despair, Love is the antidote.  When I hate, Love is the antidote.

Love can take the form of a prayer as well.  I love this poem by Mary Oliver, I Happened To Be Standing, cited in today’s Writer’s Almanac.

Another way I can be positive is to remember that we have come a long way.  My family actually threw trash and my parents’ cigarette butts out the window on family car vacations in the 50ies! Yikes!!  I can’t even imagine it, but we did!!  So much good is happening all over, it’s important for me to “nurture the knowledge that a just cause and steady effort can succeed.”  (NRDC quote.)  Think of seat belts, smoking, recycling, banning DDT…

I invite you to honor this day, Earth Day, in whatever way resonates for you.  One thing to consider is going out in nature to recharge.  I have recently resolved to take a walk, even if it’s short, each day (I don’t always), because I can easily get caught up in inside projects and f0rget to get out on foot.  (Cycling is not the same… it’s faster, I have to pay attention in a different way.)  It’s so gratifying to feel the change of pace, the connection with, and aliveness of, all of my senses, it nourishes my soul and spirit, and heartwarming contact with other people invariably happens when I walk.

Happily, over Easter, we got to take a wonderful walk, with kids and grandkids, along a river, in the woods.  (Marlena had just learned about some edibles so we cooked up a stir-fry of licorice root and fiddle heads when we got home!)

If you need a nudge to get out, have a look at the What’s In It for You Suzuki Foundation challenge, and scroll a bit to see a chart of the health benefits of time in nature. Some other stats on the page might be of interest as well!  Wowser.

If you’re into taking steps, :-), here’s one last list that just might have something that sparks a light bulb for you:  more ideas for steps in the right direction.

Remember, Every Day is Earth Day!!  There is a very real way in which we hold the future of the earth in our hands.

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, andgrowth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)


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