Celebrating Earth Day

EarthDay takes place annually on April 22. It is a day of expressing care and concern for life on Earth. Creating nature-based ways to celebrate and activate around this theme is open-ended and thrilling. There are many inspiring people to learn about! It is definitely a day to pay homage to Rachel Carson for her revolutionary writing of Silent Spring, which initiated the contemporary environmental movement. It is a great day to paint the world’s portrait with only a few essential colors. There are so many wonderful books to read in honor of this holy day. Here are two: 

The Earth and I by Frank Asch

The Great Kapok Tree by Lynn Cherry

For Earth Day, here is an offering honoring human mutuality with trees:

Tree Meditation 

Breathe in the gift given from the trees -- 
Breathe out a gift for the trees -- 
In, Oxygen. Out, Carbon Dioxide.
Breathe in deeply and out fully 
--seeing your fundamental interconnectedness on the planet 
--an interconnectedness that lives in every breath taken and given.

Call to mind a specific tree you know or have known:
One you pass daily,
or remember from childhood,
or stared at in awe one fine day of your life,
or climbed,
or ate fruit from,
or cultivated.....
The tree that comes to mind is fine.
Hold your tree in mind.
Sense the texture of its bark,
the shape of its leaves
the weave of its branches,
the motions of insects and birds that enjoy it.
Follow the roots that have grounded it. Deepen the breath, becoming heavy with rest.
With your tree by your mind's side, envision a duet.
Breathe in or "in-spire" your tree and its natural gifts.
Breathe out, softening your own bark, your skin -- releasing reciprocal gifts.
Follow the cycle of the breath in and out of your body
The cycle of the breath is our collaboration with the tree and its fellow plants on our earth.

Root yourself through your lower body,
your own trunk present and neutral,
your brain branching its neural pathways and blossoming its vibrant thoughts.
Drink a glass of water. Grow your breath. Your peace.

Later, as you walk by a tree -- one that you may see every day
Give it a wink, or a pat, or a friendly nod.
Take a breath-filled moment -- of sharing 
            -- of mutuality