What does it mean to honor the Earth?
To me, it means appreciating something that typically goes unnoticed.
All the time we see pictures and movies of geographically stunning landscapes. Those may be landscapes of beauty or landscapes of polluted decay.
From those images, we may form an idea or several about the Earth. Pollution, climate change, and clean energy are very important topics at this time in human history.
But the Earth is not limited to our politics. Earth Day is an opportunity to develop or deepen your own firsthand relationship with the planet.
It is very simple:
1. Find yourself a scrap of nature. If you live in a city like me, find a park, a tree, or a stretch of grass. If you live in the suburbs or country, then you need only step outside your door.
2. Settle down with that piece of nature and take a few moments to allow yourself to adjust to its presence and languid pace.
3. Look around. Is it not remarkable that a tree can live for a hundred years, if not thousands, without chasing after a single thing? How about the fact that birds make seasonal pilgrimages without plans and maps? Even a soft blade of grass can make its way through a solid layer of concrete.
4. Recognize, in your own little piece of nature, the ways in which nothing stands on its own. Everything is supplied by something else and supplies something else. This is called interdependence.
5. Now take a look at yourself. Society did not give birth to you. Society does not govern the physiological processes spontaneously occurring in your body. It is natural; it is nature.
6. Bring it home: You are here because the Earth wants you here. The Earth, which is nothing other than a living mass of dynamic interdependence, supports you unconditionally. You have never been apart from it, nor will you ever.
Without a firsthand appreciation for and personal relationship with Earth, how can we work for peace and harmony amongst humanity? How can we push for change without falling prey to enmity and resentment?
We should not for one moment fail to appreciate the blessing of this planet and the spontaneously intricate dance that is life.