Today is Earth Day, and it’s a beauty here in Georgia — one of those balmy days with scoops of melting clouds marbling their way into a lacy, eggshell sky. The tree tops ripple their applause, the birdsong sings its praise. Tomorrow the rains come, but today is fair and sweet.
Mother Nature is doing her best to distract us and honestly, she’s sometimes the only thing keeping me from wallowing in bitterness. The Earth is a faithful friend and a soothing constant in the midst of all the uncertainty right now. She can almost make you forget there’s a pandemic in our midst — at least for a little while.
I’ve been walking at dawn each day before anyone else is up, and those walks are just the dollop of sweet cream I need to jump start my sanguine soul.
There’s nothing quite like a wet, newborn morning to make you feel hopeful and focused again. Today as I ventured out, the sun was sliding into a crisp, 43-degree dawn. All the lawns were fresh dipped in soft light and glazed in celadon green. My breath fogged, in keeping with the river’s.
We’re kindred spirits, the River and I. Chilly, but moving. Searching.
A friend of ours has a saying, “If you’re not growing, you’re decaying,” and in these days of quarantine, it’s been easy to succumb to thoughts of decay and nothingness. Because it feels like there’s no forward progress. Like we’re all just treading water in a hovering state between drowning and life. An in-between state. A limbo.
I’m not used to limbo — although I did used to think it would be nice to get away from it all like a hermit on the hillside — just for a while. Well, that “while” has lost its luster.
But this Earth of ours, her luster is in full bloom. She’s been spiffing herself up — and I’m not talking simply iris and azalea blossoms here. She been doing a bit of spring cleaning while we’ve been sheltering in place: Blue skies are returning to L.A. and Tokyo, turtles are hatching on Daytona Beach; jellyfish are jellyfishing through the Grand Canal.
Progress through this pandemic pause…
A whole lot of revelations have been made during this stressful and polarizing time. Some good, some not so good. But today, on Earth Day, let’s focus on the positive revelations. How resilient and generous the Earth has been. How we can all learn from her example.
Get out and celebrate the Earth and enjoy her humblest of treasures today.
Find a field and wade through her clover, find a stream and watch it move; find some woods and pad through the pine straw, wander a gully or inspect a grove. Explore all the ragamuffin riches the unfettered world has to share.
Or, explore your own backyard…
Pack up a picnic dinner, park yourself on a quilt, and break bread with the ants and the bees. Weed your flowerbeds, mow your grass; toss a frisbee, ride your bike. Watch the world blur through a hummingbird’s wings; lap up the sunset from the slant of an Adirondack chair.
Whatever your potion, get outside and drink up a strong dose of Earth’s indomitable spirit. Swallow the lessons she’s teaching us all about resilience, generosity, grace and grit. And let them plant themselves in your soul.
Her spirit will surely help settle our own spirits in these most unsettling of times. And teach us a thing or two too…