Happy Earth Day and welcome to Taurus season!
As I reflect on Earth Day, it brings up a lot of sadness for me. I remember the first Earth Day I celebrated. I was in the fourth grade. Our teacher was a passionate environmentalist who taught from a place of fear.
As a 10-year-old girl, I took Mrs. Raymond’s fears for our planet’s future to heart. It felt debilitating and overwhelming then. I can only imagine what it is like for 4th graders now.
And yet, despite the very real impacts of climate change, we can still enjoy being alive and a part of nature. I feel connected to the joy of being on earth whenever I go camping, sailing, and scuba diving. My own fear for our planet’s health comes from the deep love I feel for this sacred and beautiful place.
I’m reminded of the story of “The Star Thrower” by Loren C. Eiseley:
A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t even begin to make a difference!”
The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference for that one!”
The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.
I find this story helpful in all work. It is important to me to feel that I am making a positive difference in the world through the lives I touch. It’s also critical for me to stay humble and know that I am not the creator, and it is not my job to alter the tides for the benefit of starfish.