This earth day was spent just listening and observing.
I made the first few right after trump was elected- as an F you (and no thanks) to I wrote out numerous different things to post and share…after not feeling inspired to…but then taking to the notes app on my phone with some fiery thoughts on the subject, haha. I guess my feeling around “Day’s” like these lately has been “blegh” in the face of such tremendous grief for our climate and people- same goes for women’s day this year (the things I can speak directly to as a white cis woman). I don’t want cute posts of women and their best friends. I want all men to start to wake up to their role in a broken patriarchal system- not just the role of being actively gross, but also the harmful role of being complacent (start here, dudes!…and women, too! because we all know how sexism can also be internalized). I want policy. But back to earth day…the tons of “earth day sales” in my newsletter inbox made me cringe and feel confused “wait, is it black friday?? Or is it earth day??”. Don’t get me wrong. I am all for people celebrating these days and doing what feels good to them- I am just speaking here for myself and the places my mind wanders. It is just interesting the role that social media has played in it all (I think?).
There is no one right way to love the earth. We need a ton of people doing different things.
I was just going to keep my mouth shut and go on with life…but then this message kept coming back to me. As I spent the day trying to figure out what the heck earth day actually is now (in 2021 when a good percentage of people don’t believe in climate change at all and moderate democrats view The Green New Deal as a kiss from some evil (socialist) satan…in the face of air pollution at fatal levels and forest fire season now “a thing” and the list goes on…), this humble message kept coming back to me. And I felt that a belated earth day note was just what was in store this year (feels fitting, no?). No, I don’t have a list of “5 things you can do to go zero waste”…or “3 products you need now to be an environmentalist”…or whatever else is floating around on social media that make it seem easy and like a checklist…but rather the opposite. I genuinely just hope for you…and for us all…that in whatever way you find yourself in connection and appreciation and friendship with the Earth, may it feed you *both* in reciprocity. I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that our relationship with the natural world has to all look the same in order for healing to happen. NO. We don’t all have to look the same and do the same things and speak in the same way. There is no one right way to love the earth. We need a ton of people doing different things. Vegans alone aren’t going to save us. Herbalists alone aren’t going to save us. Climate scientists alone aren’t going to save us. Farmers market-goers alone aren’t going to save us. I don’t like how social media (and whitewashed environmentalism) makes it feel that way sometimes. May the things that make you feel in connection to and a caretaker of this planet continue to be fed and nourished and alive for you. THAT feels like what earth day is about. And it makes me tear up, honestly. I think about my gratitude for the way my plant neighbors have held me ALWAYS, but especially this last year. And how, for me, one of the most special things about this life and what brings me the most joy is seeing a natural place change over the course of a year (…and then the years following). My dog walks in the same places almost every day. It makes life feel full and alive and it gives me pause and moments of such deep ease. And I just wanted to give a shout out to all the people relating in THEIR unique ways to this planet and to deeply wish more of that for you. This is obviously a conversation that is much deeper and more layered than just one newsletter or one thought can hold. Like how due to air/land/water pollution, gentrification, racism, and so much more…not everyone is able to choose the relationship they dream to have with the earth. Or their land rights are stripped or due to the prison system and police murder of innocent Black people their lives are cut short and they are not given the option. But let that be a reason to keep fighting for not only our rights, but the rights of everyone being able to love the earth in a reciprocal way of their choosing. Maybe its bird watching, maybe its waving to the plants as you walk by on your dog walk, maybe it is laying in a park in the grass without shoes on, maybe it is learning about your watershed, or cleaning up trash, or cooking seasonal food, or something totally not related to any of those things but feels potent and loving anyways. Let’s create a patchwork of helpers and then look at how much more beautiful that is anyways!!!!!!! Monoculture crops do not work. Neither do monoculture movements. Let’s celebrate the patchwork and imperfections and see how it is more beautiful that way anyways. Happy belated earth day.
A grove of Achlys I have watched slowly get bigger and bigger each year. They are so tender and sweet when young. And even more beautiful when they start to decompose in the fall:
A few resources/calls to action if you’re like HELL YES and don’t know where to channel that energy right now!
–The Quest for Environmental Justice by Robert D. Bullard
-Learn the name of a new plant in your neighborhood. Get to know it over time.
–Pleasure Activism by Adrienne Maree Brown
-Less than 2% of farms are owned by Black farmers. Find a Black farmer in your area (or afar, by way of donating to their work: Soul Fire Farm, Amber Tamm’s Farm Fund, SUSU Community Farm are a few!) and make a point to support them this season and beyond. Land ownership is also liberation.
-Craving community? Herban Cura has some amazing workshops/knowledge shares. I recently did one on Maple Syrup called “Maple Moon: Sugaring as Abolition” with Jalal Sabur and it was incredible. There is nothing more inspiring to take action than simply learning more about this amazing earth and the people doing powerfully potent things in relationship to it. Classes are on a sliding scale.