Does Earth Day inspire you or leaving you feeling it’s inadequate? I used to see Earth Day as important. I still care about it and support anyone who does something good for the Earth around Earth Day. But increasingly it seems sad and even pathetic to me that we make such a big deal of honoring the Earth one day out of our 365. That’s not going to even come close to solving our environmental problems. And I was a little shocked this week when an American clothing company I respect ran an Earth Day sale, commercializing the day in ways that seem meaningless to me, if not downright antagonistic to its meaning.
I’m reading Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, and I’ve fallen in love with her description of a desirable time when “people and land are good medicine for each other.” This is another way to describe Mutual Flourishing, and in fact Kimmerer often uses the phrase, “All flourishing is mutual.”
To create or re-create a time when people and land are good medicine for each other, we need to go far beyond Earth Day. And we need to not only ‘make every day Earth Day,’ as the phrase goes, but make every day one in which you and I are good medicine for the land and the healthy land is good medicine for us.
Good medicine. It gets at the heart of Mutual Flourishing. If you are good medicine for the land, you are both harmless and nurturing. You refrain from hurting and you give help, sustenance, healing, support. If the land is good medicine for you, its air is clean, its soil is clean, its water is clean. Its plants shine with health. Its animals are thriving. The energy of the land supports your energy. The land gives you sustenance, healing, support.
This isn’t a distant vision. We can’t be like some of my college students, too many of whom say, ‘that would be great, but it’s too difficult.’ Or, ‘that would be the best way to live, but it’s too unrealistic.’ Notice with me: Earth-honoring telesummits are attracting big audiences, personal development courses are including Earth connection, energy medicine related to the Earth and plants is proliferating, and action-oriented approaches such as permaculture, Transition, and new experiments with economic systems and renewable energy are taking off. Keep stepping forward in your own journey of becoming good medicine for the Earth and helping the Earth to be good medicine for you. We’re getting closer all the time, and not just on Earth Day.
Your inspiring news headline of the future for today is:
April 24, 2031: “Earth Day has become a year-round focus, commentators notice”
To flourishing for all life, and not just on Earth Day,