Since the beginning of the shelter-in-place order in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it has been utterly gorgeous here.
The skies are clear and the green mountains stand out crisply. The mustard is golden in the vineyards, and the forests are growing bright new leaves.
The silence broken only by birds’ calls, the scant traffic on the roadways and the clean, perfumed spring air remind me of how beautiful this world could be if we could just find ways to stop mucking it up.
We’re all sheltering inside, of course, except for those of us on necessary errands or—like me—working in essential industries. We’re going stir crazy, having brain fog and sleep disturbance and all the many symptoms of a human who feels trapped.
But outside our walls, Life carries forward. The good Earth turns, the Sun burns, the trees awaken from dormancy and unfurl new leaves, the leaves perform the alchemy of light into sugar and fuel the many forms Life takes.
It’s the 50th Earth Day, and perhaps there is no better way to see our way forward than to notice what happens when humanity just stops its headlong rush for a little while.
So even if you’re sheltering in place, take a step outside today. Breathe the air and listen for what’s missing. Hear what has been drowned out by cars and other human noise. Gaze off to the horizon and notice how clean the air is, all of a sudden.
The Earth can bounce back. Life is tenacious and adaptable.
Even now, when it seems so late, there is hope.
Happy Earth Day, everyone.