There is an abundance of sorrow on this small Earth, of that we might all agree, but there is also, at least here in northern Vermont, the ability to find joy quite easily in May. In the buds and flowers and leaves and warming temps and that fabulous blue sky hovering like sapphires above each and everyone. I am not ignoring the staggering horrors dropping like thick fog, but I am asking that mess to push aside for this day to feel a joy so big it overpowers. This week joy seems to be what lots of people reminded me to feel too: an unfiltered, possibly even a radical joy.
As it is April and poetry has dominated my classroom with more deliberate attention this month, I will share a poem from the magnificent Langston Hughes. Hughes’ words have echoed in my mind all week. Maybe it’s because of the violence shattering our world peace, or the politicians bent on curtailing a host of civil freedoms, or that the richest man in the world will make sure that Twitter is more volitive and destructive, I’m not sure, but after you read through maybe you will agree “Democracy” is worth pondering today.
Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Through compromise and fear.
Easter tables all over the Northeast held brilliant bouquets pronouncing the return of Spring. Ours was picked with care and brought much delight to all who circled around. Truly, an easy delight for any and all after months of a black and white landscape. Today there is yellow and orange, pink and red and all those in between hues of daffodil, tulip and ranunculus in every stage of bloom. Today is the start of a world overcome by this joyous return.
“Every year on April 22, Earth Day is celebrated by 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. It marks the anniversary of the beginning of the modern environmental movement that started in 1970, but is also a day to show support for the Earth and raise awareness of environmental issues,” says Google. As I stroll through gardens bursting with Spring it seems the least we can do is support this beautiful planet that has given us so very much, our every nourishment in fact. Today I am drinking in all those rich gifts.
Is there anything more spectacular than finding purple and green where yesterday there was only brown and gray? I find myself drawn like a bee just going from flower to flower to nourish me after this long winter. Eye candy. Sweet delight. All for free to gaze.
#investinourplanet is the Earth Day 2022 theme. How simple to hashtag a concept, yet so difficult to shift a world bent on destruction. Today I focus on all the easy beauty. So very grateful that it is indeed as easy as blooms on the trees and along the garden paths. How fortunate we have been for so many decades, millenniums even. Perhaps not so for those who will come after us, but for this day, with the blue sky, the fat robin hopping along the lawn, and the buzz of the bee chasing down each bloom, I will rejoice on this Earth Day.
And take in all She has gifted us. What a treasure to watch each April, life resurfacing like a goddess from the Underworld, this Persephone made visible, this hope realized once more.