“A new heaven is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and a new earth is its reflection in the physical realm.”—Eckhart Tolle
Forty-two years ago, the first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. It was the beginning of a long journey back to fully recognizing our planet as our mother, our home. Our energy, our consciousness, and our ultimate destiny are inextricably interwoven with that of Mother Earth. Humans have strayed so far from that awareness, lost in the extremes of separation and denial. Yet, slowly we are making our way back to seeing our oneness—our oneness with all living beings and our oneness with the planet we call home.
Some may look around and see only disaster and suffering—global warming, human destruction of the environment, the callous attitudes of corporate and political leaders. Still, there are ever-widening cracks in the facade of business as usual. People, young and old, are gathering together to bring about life-affirming change, in spite of the forces set against them. People are speaking out against the proliferation of chemicals in the food we eat, against the uncurbed killing of trees for timber, against the unnecessary dependence on fossil fuels for energy, against the loss of habitat and wilderness. Countless groups are working to bring our planet back to full alignment with its blue splendor and green magnificence.
One such group is Trees, Water & People (www.treeswaterpeople.org). Their stated goal is to “improve people’s lives by helping communities to protect, conserve, and manage the natural resources upon which their long-term well-being depends.” Specifically, their work includes a fuel-efficient, forest-saving cookstove program, community-led reforestation projects, a tribal renewable energy program, and watershed health programs. The Organic Consumers Association is another dynamic grass-roots public interest group (http://www.organicconsumers.org). They are concerned with issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, fair trade, and environmental sustainability. Their over one million members take part in campaigns to urge public officials and politicians to address matters of concern to local and global communities, such as labeling genetically modified foods and stopping the pervasive use of pesticides, herbicides, etc.
Thousands of other groups and millions of individuals are now participating in the co-creation of a new Earth, one in which humans no longer heedlessly destroy the very environment that sustains them. The wisdom of indigenous peoples who have traditionally thought of the impact of their actions upon generations yet to come is finally approaching critical mass in the collective world consciousness. We still have so much yet to do, but looking back over 42 years, what we have achieved together is no small feat.
Celebrate Earth Day this year by buying organic vegetables and fruit at local farmers markets or food coops, taking part in a local tree-planting activity, or asking two or three friends to help you pick up trash in a local park. Attend an Earth Day celebration near your home and learn about all the community activities available to help our planet in small and large ways. You can also visit global online sites such as Earth Day Network (www.earthday.org) and participate in projects like their Billion Acts of Green campaign. Finally—take a few moments to look around with conscious awareness and appreciate the extraordinary beauty of our precious home sweet Earth. Happy New-Earth Day!