Posted by: Calmseas (Mike) | April 22, 2009

An Earthy Day

earthbirdsI celebrated Earth Day in my own quiet way this evening.  Those of us who can remember the very first Earth Day in 1970—and even then thought the whole concept was rather quirky—realize that the spiritual aspect is a huge component of the environmental movement.  In the United States, we have designated today, April 22, as Earth Day.  The United Nations, however, recognizes Earth Day on the spring equinox each year—an obvious association with religious naturalism that goes back to ancient times. Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead, in an effort to gain universal acceptance of the spring equinox as the designated “Earth day,” made this declaration just before her death in 1978:

“Earth Day is the first holy day which transcends all national borders, yet preserves all geographical integrities, spans mountains and oceans and time belts, and yet brings people all over the world into one resonating accord, is devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology, the measurement of time, and instantaneous communication through space.

Earth Day draws on astronomical phenomena in a new way—which is also the most ancient way—using the vernal equinox, the time when the sun crosses the equator making night and day of equal length in all parts of the earth.  To this point in the annual calendar, Earth Day attaches no local or divisive set of symbols, no statement of the truth or superiority of one way of life over another.  But the selection of the March equinox makes planetary observance of a shared event possible, and a flag which shows the earth as seen from space appropriate.”

Make no mistake: environmentalism, as it is practiced today, is a religion; and Earth Day is the environmentalist’s Easter.

But returning for a moment to my own Earth Day celebration.  In my effort to become “one with the earth,” I dug a long, shallow hole in my backyard.  I then half-buried a four-foot piece of treated 4×4 post horizontally in the hole. My intention was to make this a simple stepping board on the side of the hill in my backyard.  (I admit that my motivation here was as much utilitarian as it was spiritual—please don’t think less of me for this failing.)  I then immersed myself in worship of the earth—I got my hands into as much earth as I could. The underside of my fingernails became one with the earth, symbolically representing my spiritual union with the earth.  I could feel Pythagoras’ “harmony of spheres” resonating in my feeble, all-too-human bones.  And all was right with the universe, let alone the earth.

I did my part for the earth this evening.  I used an existing post in my ritual, thereby precluding the need to cut down yet another tree (and, thus, leaving more trees in the woods to hug).  And I buried the post, recognizing that it will one day return to the dust of the earth from where it was birthed perhaps decades ago.  Yes, I did my part.  And I feel so much better for it.

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Responses

  1. Heh! You silly snot, I can your tongue-in-cheek from clear over here. Tsk! Tsk!


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