If you’re a longtime Planetarian, Earth Day as a one-day celebration feels like Valentine’s Day in a longtime loving relationship: kind of unnecessary, but—why pass up an opportunity to show your devotion? Yet I have to say, for me it wasn’t always this way.
For many years my climate efforts felt like a civic duty. I did the basics: recycling, reusable bags, Meatless Mondays—all good efforts, but it felt like ticking a box. Then somewhere along the way, duty gradually disappeared and in its place came a kind of love. The more I learned about the crises our lifestyles and public policies were creating for the Earth, the more I felt drawn to be in a healthy and healing relationship with nature. I began to care about the Earth the way I would care about any loving and giving person who was being ignored or abused.
Gradually, my actions didn’t seem like sacrifices anymore. They were joy-filled, meaningful, and—at my table—delicious. In other words, nurturing the planet became not so much something I do, but an integral part of who I am. When that shift happened in my mind, caring for the Earth felt like caring for myself. Which makes sense. What’s good for the Earth is good for us. We are one. But the deep cords that connect us have frayed to a few tenuous threads, and most of us can’t see or feel them anymore.
So—let this Earth Day be a reminder about how deeply we are connected to this fragile Earth. Keep doing the things that create healing in the Earth, and as you do, you’ll find you are caring for yourself as well. How could it be any other way?