Friday, April 22, 2005

Happy Earth Day Mom

the fifth day
Originally uploaded by S'mee.

"...Let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." - Moses 2:15

I remember the very first Earth Day. It seems so long ago, but like other national events, a collective remembrance easily brought back to our emotional and rational consciousness.

I was in grade school and my teacher prepped us for this new holiday day by day for weeks. We had more frequent trips to the library, extra time saved at the end of the day to read, search and find all kinds of new and interesting things about our "mom". Some things, like rain forests and polar ice caps were fascinating and grabbed our eyes as well as our minds. Then there were the scary things we were learning about that grabbed my heart. The tiny valley where I lived was the hole in the donut of hills and mountains around us, and learning about "inversion layers" was mind blowing to me. I could walk outside at recess and actually see the accumulation of vapors daily and felt really smart and observant. Smog was new back then. Just as communism, and the threat of bombs scared me -so did smog. I saw it coming, staying, hovering, and all the well meaning reassurance of my teacher could not dissuade the feelings of impending doom; and all it would wreak on me, my family and my future.

We were given tasks to accomplish, both as a class and individually. As Earth day approached our anticipation of the celebration did as well. On the actual day we had a "play day" full of activities. Special games and contests, and in the afternoon the excitement of an assembly! The walk to the cafeteria was electric! We met with other classes, all in line and a twitter with the party atmosphere that seemed to be our special guest that day. We all sat down on the benches and watched as one 6th grade class presented a play. A poem was recited by the kindergarten, and art work from our class was prominently displayed, taped to the tables still upright and folded into the walls. Pictures of all kinds and varieties. Frogs and waterfalls. Trees and slogans. Mine was a collage.

I remember it was on manila tag board. I had cut various photos from magazines and glued them over my original art. It was a city scene. I had learned how to draw perspective and so I enjoyed drawing streets and sky scrapers. Because of my newly acquired knowledge of Smog, it was keen and so important for me to express and educate others of this common enemy. The manila colour of the tag board was the perfect backdrop for my city of "progress". Heavy swirls of golden brown haze rose to the top of the paper. Sky-scapers lost their spires in it's gloomy breath. A black and white, rather sad faced cartoon of a cat was cut from a magazine and set to stroll down the sidewalk. I used my mom's Tri-Chem Fabric Embroidery - Turquoise Blue to draw a dead fish floating down the gutter. "My fuchur" was written on a bill board atop one of the lower buildings in black Magic Marker.

We ended the day by planting a tree in the front of our school. We held hands and stood in a circle as we sang "This Land Is Our Land". Then we went home. The end of the school year came and to my utter surprise I was awarded with my first trophy: 1st Place Artist for "My fuchur" an Earth Day Poster. I was evidently impressed and humbled as I remember both the events on this current Earth Day.

So here we are a thousand years later and what has happened since? Well, to my surprise California passed laws and regulations that have in the past 30+ years actually dropped auto emissions to the point that our air is actually better than it was when I was in grade school. Good job guys!

I am still a bit of a hippy chick. I am still fearful and worry about our eco-systems and environment. I fear we are more concerned about money than resources. I am hopeful and assured that there are others out there who are dedicated and making things better for all of us. I recycle and reuse, I try not to waste my water and resources. I participate in our community clean up days. I am part of a group that has an "adopted highway". If I could, I would morph myself into Ed Begly Jr and be as self sufficient as he. I think the point here is this: God created this big blue marble for us to spin around on and then blessed us with the responsibility to care for it. So, for today, at least, let's think and rethink how we can beef up our efforts and be a better steward. Let's make our momma proud.

add to sk*rt

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! » » »