Earth Day

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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


All content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.


  1. Donna says:

    I find myself thinking more about the animals that share the planet with us, because their voice is rarely heard. It is our responsibility to take care of their habitats and allow some peaceful existence for their lives. Too many threads are leaving this delicate web of life. I enjoyed the movie Avatar because of all the sensitivity and reverence they gave to their planted. If only….

    • Donna says:

      I so agree about the animals. It is amazing this year how much more animal life has entered my gardens…snakes at the pond, birds nesting, butterflies we have never seen before. I know it is my responsibility to take care of their habitat

      • Donna says:

        Donna, from reading all your posts, I know you are a great steward of your little part of the world and have the utmost respect for all the plants and wildlife entering your domain. I know you encourage and plan for them too. I too have snakes in my tiny plot, but with all the rampant spraying in my neck of the woods, butterflies were rare last year. Same with hummingbirds, and I plant for them. Bees made a comeback and I was thankful for that. Not sure what 2011 will bring though.

        • Donna says:

          Here’s hoping that they all make a comeback for you so you have a wonderful 2011 with them. I have a feeling they will be back and you so deserve them. Since I have been able to reduce chemicals here I have seen them comeback year after year. It is not always possible though and it took some convinceing for my husband. If the county decides to spray for mosquitos I know it disrupts the other critters but we have no choice. We do what we can do. Here’s to the wonderful critters that visit you this new year….

        • Cat says:

          Donna, I was just reading your response to Donna and it struck a nerve. I’m still seeing the green anole in my yard but recently several have been brown. Reading on the internet I see that they are stressed when brown. A few weeks ago, with 30mph winds (toward my yard), my neighbor was spraying his peach tree! I couldn’t believe it! He of course was wearing a mask but me and my dog weren’t. He didn’t even stop to think about the fact that his poison wasn’t even hitting the tree – it was all blowing downwind!!! I was furious and asked him to stop spraying. He was very apologetic and said his wife told him it needed to be done. Imagine me shaking my head!

          • Donna says:

            Oh no…how sad and good for you. I have non-toxic, herbal spray that has a citrus scent that rabbits and deer tend not to like. When I spray that I have actually sprayed myself in the face because I was not paying attention to the wind. Just think when I was using Round Up and not being aware I cringe… I know I would actually poison myself sometimes with that stuff because I was not wearing the right protection and then what harm I did to the critters. Now they are coming back and I am smarter. Your advocating for the precious creatures is wonderful. And I can imagine you shaking your head…Perhaps your neighbor will learn as I have to find better choices that won’t be harmful.

    • Donna says:

      I am grateful I have the day off so I can honor it this year. Most years I have been stuck in an office till all hours, but I hope th change that now.

  2. One says:

    This is a wonderful and a great reminder for us to take care of the Earth, to realize that we should NOT harm the earth for we are part of the Earth. Thank you for the link.

  3. Carolflowerhillfarm says:

    Donna, Your quote from Chief Seattle is perfect for all to read and digest. Too many places proclaim that the earth is for man alone and all its resources including wildlife are justly under man’s dominion to do with as he/she pleases. It is so important that everyone wakes up to the importance of understanding and acting towards the wisdom in what Chief Seattle shares. Dr. Seuss was one of my favorite books to read to my son. Lovely photo throughout this important post.

    • Donna says:

      I am glad you liked the post Carol. It is so interesting how children’s books influenced me and I hope parents today read these wonderful books to their children. What a wonderful book to share with your son!

  4. The Sage Butterfly says:

    What wonderful book choices to inspire us all! Your love and dedication to the earth and nature is evident in your reads and in your post. Brother Earth, Sister Sky is one of the great books reflecting how Native Americans regarded the land. I am re-inspired to read these again. Thank you for joining in, and Happy Earth Day!

    • Donna says:

      You know I never would have thought about this wonderful day in this way so really the thanks is for you and your wonderful project. I enjoyed re-reading these books and contemplating their messages…The Native American philosophy definitely resonates strongly with me…I think in a past life I was one of these Native peoples as I am drawn to their culture and lands…I find visiting their lands so spritual like a calling home…who knows 🙂 Happy Earth Day to you!!!

  5. Alistair says:

    You never fail to give me food for thought Donna. Just had to check on Chief Seattle, belonged to the Suquamish, hmm, only familiar with, Sioux, Black feet and a few others seen in westerns, many years ago.

    • Donna says:

      Oh Alistair you have once again made my day…the tribe is from the Washinton state area and Seattle Washington was named after him. A very powerful, inspiring speech that has left its mark on me…

  6. Jean says:

    Donna, I love your book choices. I have chosen my books and have started working on my post. I’ll let you know when it actually goes up later this week. -Jean

    • Donna says:

      Good to hear Jean. I can’t wait to see your book choices. My choices though children’s books, were not discovered until I was a young adult. Glad you liked them. Happy Earth Day!!

  7. Holley says:

    I, too, have been inspired by those books. Although I read them many years ago, I remembered each of them as I read your post. Good writing reaches across generations.

    • Donna says:

      Holley so nice to hear these same books inspired you. My wish is that adults and children will again find these books, read them and find inspiration. Happy Earth Day!!

  8. Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens says:

    Your choice of children’s books, all of which I have read and love, brings home the point that the concept is very simple and the choices are pretty straightforward. We must take care of the Earth or the Earth will stop taking care of us.

    • Donna says:

      Carolyn you put it very nicely. I think it really is that simple. What we do and how we do it, well that is a different story. It is about accepting the fact that we must do something actually many things. It just starts with one thing though and the impact is great. How wonderful that you also love those books.

  9. Karin/Southern Meadows says:

    What an inspiring and thought provoking post. I must definitely read Brother Eagle Sister Sky! I love that first quote! Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite children’s authors and The Lorax is one of his best. I read The Giving Tree as a child and read it often to my children. It stirs up such mixed emotions because of all the joy nature brings and then on the flip side nature unconditional gives and humans just take without a second thought. Nature is finally shouting out and slowly we are listening.

    • Donna says:

      Karin I am glad the post spoke to you. You will love the book Brother Eagle, Sister Sky. It is wonderful to find a kindred spirit about the other 2 books. The Giving Tree evokes such emotion and it is good to hear others saw the greater story of Nature giving unconditionally. Happy Earth Day.

  10. Cat says:

    Happy Earth Day a bit early Donna 😉 I appreciate the balance you’re striving for in your life. The first two books you mentioned are favorites of mine too and with a lot of graduating seniors this year, I plan on gifting many of them with The Giving Tree.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks for your support Cat. What a wonderful gift you are giving these graduates. One they will cherish. My parents actually gave me the book in my senior year in college. It is and will forever be among my cherished books. Happy Earth Day to you!!

    • Donna says:

      Autumn thanks for visiting and reading my post. I am glad you liked it. What a special Earth Day this year since it is Good Friday. A very spiritual reflective day for me. Happy Earth Day.

  11. Laura @ PatioPatch says:

    Hi Donna – am impressed with your book choice. Quite an unexpected deviation away from the ususal ‘green’ books that I might have chosen for Earth Day’s reading meme.
    Today is indeed a time for reflection and thus makes Earth Day more poignant
    p.s. did I miss you posting on why you’ll be blogging less?

    • Donna says:

      Thx Laura…so glad you liked my choices…before I became a school administrator I was a teacher so children’s books were something I collected and have always loved…yes a couple of weeks ago I announced that I would have to blog once a week only so I could get out in the garden and devote time to my new garden design business. I have a full time job in public education as well so that cuts heavily into my time with an 8 hr day and 2 hrs of commuting…I hope to retire in the next year or so and garden and write and design…so there you have it…sorry if I was a bit long winded 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Thx for visiting Anne and I am glad you liked my choices…loved your post and left you a comment ….indeed I think the native people’s view has had the biggest effect on me and in shaping my view…Happy Earth Day!!

  12. Elly says:

    Hi Donna,
    Here, in the Netherlands they do nothing with Earthday.
    But, It is good to give it attention. We all live on and..from the Earth. That we must care with all respect!!!.
    Dear Donna, I wish you and your family a very happy and nice Easter.
    Dear greetings, Elly

    • Donna says:

      What a wonderful way to live…I only wish more could do that in this country which is why we have Earth Day…Elly I also wish you and your family a very happy and nice Easter…take care of yourself…Donna

  13. Pam's English Garden says:

    Dear Donna, I think it is interesting that the first two books you listed are both children’ books. I often find children’s and young adult’s books to be more significant than those for adults. I hope Sage Butterfly repeats this challenge next year, as I would like to participate then. P x

    • Donna says:

      Actually Pam all 3 are children’s books…I collected them when I was teaching and have saved the special ones…I am sure she will repeat it and you don’t have to be invited but I will invite you :0 Would love to see your book choices…she may have to vary it a bit next year to 3 latest books that have influenced you…you still have until tomorrow to write a post to get in to this year’s…consider yourself invited!!!

  14. Pam's English Garden says:

    Hello, again. Thanks for the invite, but one post a week is my limit, and I posted today. I am not familiar with your third title – will have to read it. As a former educator, I have a nice collection, too. P x

  15. Shyrlene says:

    Donna – I just wanted you to know that my post today includes a shout out to your blog and your recent posts. Great words of wisdom and information.

    • Donna says:

      You are so sweet to think of me….I appreciate your support and it is an honor to have you give me a shout out…I loved the post and can’t wait to read the blogs you cited… :0

  16. tina says:

    The giving tree sounds like an excellent book to read. I think trees are so vitally important in our world. The children who you read these books to probably still remember their lessons today.

    • Donna says:

      Tina I love trees and think they are one of greatest vital for our survival, so would love the book…I do hope I positively influenced the children I taught and how sweet of you to say so..Happy Earth Day!!

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