Earth Day: global pandemic edition

Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica

Happy Earth Day, everyone. I’m writing this in a dead tired state and I’m not going to edit it right now, but I wanted to say something (if only for myself) on a day that is normally joyful and poignant for me and for many others.

I spent most of Earth Day in a car. That’s probably a first for me, at least since I have been old enough and cognizant of the world around me enought to care about it. It wasn’t how I wanted to or in some senses should have spent the day, but with my trusty cat in a carrier beside me and the golden-green spring landscapes of New England rolling past, it could have been a lot worse.

My roommate situation in Vermont has become untenable, so today I packed up my cat and my sourdough starter and drove to Pennsylvania to hunker down with my family for awhile instead. I have been considering doing this for some time now, but for several reasons that I will probably get into in a later blog post, the cons seemed to outweigh the pros.

Now, I’m back here in suburbia, at least for the time being. As I scrolled through my camera roll looking for photos to include in my somehow obligatory-feeling Earth Day Instagram post, I reminisced about all the cool places I’ve been so lucky to visit on this beautiful planet of ours. The mossy cloud forests of Costa Rica; the sand dunes piled starkly against the mountains in the middle of Colorado. And both of those were just this year. And who knows when I’ll be able to go someplace like that again, now?

But I’ve seen plenty of beauty in my day-to-day life this week, too. A red-winged blackbird perched on a swaying, top-heavy Phragmites. Ramps (!!!. RAMPS!) sprouting up in a pop of vivid green against the brown earth, startling me with their vibrancy. The fuzzy outlines of dozens of blossoming trees lining the highways I drove down today. The unmistakable and ever-growing red buds of the maple in the backyard I left. Black-capped chickadees chattering in a tree not ten feet from me.

I want to write more about Earth Day action items sometime soon, but for now, for tonight, I’m just grateful. I’m safe and the family dog is snoring gently beside me. The world is soldiering on. Nature is healing. (But really, she always does.)

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