I have fond memories of Earth Day from my childhood. I recall many special events, field trips and volunteer efforts where I got my hands dirty, cleaned up streams, planted trees and hunted for salamanders in window wells. As a student at John Muir Elementary School and then a Natural Resources major in college, I learned to appreciate Earth Day from the ground up as I studied ecosystems, geology, Rachel Carson, the extinction of species, biochemistry, botany and global deforestation and many more similar subjects throughout my youth.
On this Earth Day I kept the tradition going. I got dirt under my fingernails as I tended to my yard and garden this evening, and I took Peppermint on a long walk where I listened to the Northern Cardinals and Eastern Phoebes chattering their way to their nests as the last birds to call it a day as the sun went down behind the mountain ridge.
I felt the chill in the spring air and inhaled the damp musty smell of crunchy leaves as I walked home, with our path soon to be covered with ferns and dense undergrowth as brown turns to green. Colorful flowers lined our route, including the pinks and whites of the budding trees, and the bloodroot flowers closed their delicate petals as the sky darkened.
I may not celebrate Earth Day as I did many years ago through collaboration with like-minded friends and students, but with my dog by my side it was a great day to appreciate the Earth in a more zen-like way and to offer a silent appreciation for the miracle of life that it supports.