On this Earth Day 2021, I am grateful for every tree and leaf, bird and bug, flower and butterfly, bat and moth. I am grateful for the sun and the moon for their influences on our enduring planet. I am grateful for the grand landscapes and skyscapes that have lifted my spirits and given me hope as I visited them. I am grateful for a career that allowed me to walk through thousands of days in the marshes, swamps, woodlands, wetlands, beaches, and mountains, teaching others to appreciate all that they give to our species and how we are all connected. I am grateful for the Earth warriors, the activists, the young people who are rising up to speak for our environment, to demand change by politics and governments, corporations and communities, and individuals so that future generations may live in a habitable world.
I am grateful, too, for the ever-present inspiration I get from spending time paying attention to all the living beings that share my days – the delicate hairs on a downy serviceberry bud, the sprawling legs of a tiny spider, the brilliant colors of phlox and ragwort and bee balm, the screaming cries of a red-shouldered hawk. And the awe I feel when I peer down the Columbia River Gorge, look up at Mount Hood, watch the sunrise across our meadow, hear the mighty Haw River roaring toward the Cape Fear and the Atlantic ocean.
Take a moment today, and every day, to stop and notice and wonder with awe at the amazing, wonderful world around you. Say thank you to the bug or leaf or flower or river. Be one with this place we call Earth.
And then take one small step toward reducing climate change, electing environmentally-minded officials, using fewer resources, learning more about the plants and animals that live near and with you. We are all connected and we are all responsible. Let’s work together.