“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature, and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.” -E.B. White
I have some confessions I’ve decided to share with you all as I begin this March Twelve Months of Bliss recap of mine… are you ready? Because I’m about to get like really real up in here.
Confession #1: Christian and I have lived in our new Nashville house for 5 months and, until this month, had yet to set up our recycling service.
Confession #2: We already HAD the actual recycling bin in our possession, all we had to do was make a 2 minute phone call to activate the pick-up service. (Yes, you read that right. We don’t even have to go anywhere to recycle. They’ll come to our house and pick it up.)
Confession #3: It’s not that recycling is hard, it’s just inconvenient. Because, you know, it takes extra time to consider what can be recycled, to prep it/rinse it for recycling, and to throw it into the recycling bin – 2 feet from our trashcan.
But you know what would be even more inconvenient? The day when no living thing can survive on our earth anymore because we humans have destroyed it, because we humans haven’t taken the time or extra effort to care for it. I mean that, I think, would be really inconvenient. Like, more so than taking the 30 extra seconds to look for the recycling symbol, peeling labels off cans, and having two bins than just the one garbage can.
I’m not going to include any of the horrifying statistics regarding the current condition of our planet and the destructive path we, as a collective human race, are on – I think we’re all aware, and if you’re not- seriously. Just google “global warming” or “endangered animals” or “the most polluted cities” or “largest landfills in the country” or “what’s my global footprint?”
Why is it that we only seem to care enough to take action when it’s too late?
Why do we assume that when it IS too late, it won’t directly affect us and will only affect the future generations?
Why are we okay with that?
It’s not hard to appreciate the world we live in, or to even want to care for it and then do so, but often times I think it first means we must learn how to connect to it. We must get outside and see and feel and hear it and only then can we really connect to it.
If you’ve been a reader here for longer than a few months, you most likely already know my love of taking long walks under the trees. A friend of mine recently shared with me that walking helps solve problems, it does something to our brain – a proven study at Stanford. I believe this whole heartedly because it has been true for me: any time I’m stressed or stuck in a writing rut or going through a situation I just can’t find the solution to, if I get outside and go for a walk, I always seem to work through it. I feel better, the inspiration somehow works its way back to me – like a glorious reset, found under the trees. Trees serve as a healing power for me, they always have. I can’t tell you how many lightbulb moments or life-changing talks with God I’ve had while walking under the trees. Sometimes I forget that God gave us everything we could ever need right here on this planet. Something as simple as the color green and the comfort of the sounds of the wind blowing between the leaves and the birds flying from branch to branch – He meets me in those moments. He helps me connect to the things He’s made. But only when I take the time to do so.
We connect, we care, and then we must also take action to take care of it, all the while practicing patience with the “results” because the truth is, what we do to protect our earth today might not be seen or felt until long after we’re gone. And we can’t just think this means it shouldn’t matter to us. If we’ve made the choice to connect and to care and to act, then we have chosen to do all of this for the long haul, to do it for others and not just for ourselves in the now. Part of having hope for the future is acting now to protect it.
So what can we do, in addition to recycling, to care for our earth? We can pick up trash when we walk past it on the sidewalk. *gasp* I know. Like, people might SEE us pick up SOMEONE ELSE’S TRASH. It might be awkward or embarassing if we’re walking with other people. (Unless you’re my mom. For years she’s walked up and down the country roads, picking up other people’s trash, as cars drive by and honk. Who knows if they’re honking because they’re acknowledging the good deed she’s doing or if they think she’s some crazy trash lady. She doesn’t care either way and she’ll always get a gold star in my eyes.) We can plant more plants and trees, which provide homes and food for birds and insects, and are also natural oxygen makers. We can be like our hippie coworker and ride our bike to work or carpool. All of these things are just some of the things we can do to help care for our earth, not just for today but for 100 years from now.
As habitants of this place we call home, it must matter to us. We are already a part of it. And if we don’t want to be a part of the problem, the only other choice is to be a part of the solution. Let’s be that.
Now it’s your time to share your feedback from this month’s challenge. Link up your thoughts below & don’t forget to check the Twelve Months of Bliss page in a few days for next month’s challenge!