This year I am finding it hard to compose a cheerful dispatch on Earth Day. I’ve always been mildly skeptical about taking a single day to express our love of this fabulous planet and all that she provides. This is a gratitude I hope we all might express with every breath we take, and every tear we shed. Not just on April 22.
But more to the point, we have lost much since that first Earth Day in 1970. The forests of our youth. The once-abundant life in the tide-pool-necklace of our mother Ocean. Fully 90% of the large marine vertebrates that have fed our teaming masses. We all have our own personal litany.
Of course we have made some progress in some places. With the death of Berta Caceres the two major funders pulled out of the Agua Zarca Dam project which then saved her sacred river. Working with many others this last year we managed to stem the offshore fossil fuel development of the Mid-Atlantic. But there continue to be losses. There will continue to be grief.
As our lives unfold we are naturally faced with loss of what we love: Parents, family and kin, and yes, those places and creatures that have taught us so much. We are provided with this deeply furrowed wisdom path for mysterious reasons. I can only hope to travel it with dignity, and use the teachings only to love deeper.
Please know that I hold your grief in my heart as well. We will need this strength to continue to express our enduring love of the Earth.
Long live Earth Day!