This we know… the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to earth. All things are connected, like the blood which connects one family. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life – he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
– Chief Seattle, 1854
Since I am reducing my blogging, I am submitting my Earth Day post today on my regular blogging Monday. Earth Day, April 22nd, has always been an important day for me. One where I find myself thinking about our environment, where we are, and how I am impacting it. And it is a special time to be in nature. I have blogged a bit about Earth Day before in my post entitled, Strength. And my most recent post for the Gardener’s Sustainable Living Project, Trust, certainly gives my feelings on living green and what I try to do.
But this year I am lucky enough to not have to work so I plan to spend time outside in nature whether walking at a nature preserve or gardening or maybe both. And a new blogging friend, The Sage Butterfly, has invited me to join her in a wonderful Earth Day project called, Earth Day Reading Project. It is quite simple and thought provoking:
- List at least three books that inspired you to perform any sustainable living act or inspired you to live green, and then tell us why they inspired you. These books do not have to be about green living. Nonfiction and fiction apply.
- Select at least three other blogs to invite/tag for the project and post a link to them. Let each of the invitees know they have been tagged by emailing them or posting a comment on their blog and linking them back to this post to get the rules.
The Books That Inspired Me
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. This book connects on so many levels. It was written in 1964. While it talks about relationships, when I read it I was a young adult just finishing college around 1978. It spoke to me of self sacrifice, but on a deeper level I was struck by the tree as an environmental symbol. Look at all the tree has given and we still want more. We are never satisfied and will keep on taking from the tree. I am not sure the author meant to convey this message, but that is one way the book spoke to me. No matter, the message talks about relationships, sacrifice and giving back.
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. What can I say about this book from 1971? If you have never read it do so and see the movie. The message is still important today. It speaks of our disregard for the environment all in the name of greed, pollution and systematic destruction of the environment. It is not just a great book for kids. but for all of us.
Brother Eagle, Sister Sky by Susan J. Jeffers. This is another children’s book, written in 1991, I discovered as a teacher in the early 1990s. It is a beautifully illustrated book set against Chief Seattle’s speech from the 1850s. The illustrator/author admits to adapting the speech, and of course there is still the debate as to whether Chief Seattle ever uttered these words, but frankly it matters not. The words are as elegant and important now as ever. A blogger friend posted the speech last October on her blog, Onenezz. It is a wonderful post to read. This speech resonates so much with me, that you will see the essence of the speech in much of my writing even recently when I posted about native plants, Innocent or Invader?
My Earth Day Reading Project Blog Invitations
Jean’s Garden-a blog by as she describes, “a professional sociologist and an amateur gardener. I garden primarily in East Poland, Maine (USDA zone 5a/4b), but also have a small garden in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (USDA zone 6b) where I teach and live part-time.” Jean blogs about her gardens, gardens she visits, and reviews garden books and garden blogs.
The Gardening Blog-a blog by two friends, Christine and Barbie with very different gardens in South Africa. As they describe it, “We are novice gardeners and through this blog we share our gardening experiences with each other and anyone who cares to join us in “watching our gardens grow… our gardening philosophy is “Natural and organic is best”.
Sweet Bean Gardening-a blog by a self proclaimed frugal Hoosier mama. As she describes it, “I have two little sweet beans – The Tornado and The Professor – who love to “help” me out in our zone 5 garden.” She loves cottage style gardens and is continuing to learn about gardening especially veggie gardening.
As we approach Earth Day this year, please take a few moments to think about what you are doing to make this world a better place to live in; a greener, cleaner place to live. As the native peoples of the world have tried to teach us, this world does not belong to us. We do not own the land. We are merely part of it, and we need to take care of it and respect it if we are to survive.
To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.
~ Henri Bergson