Anniversaries are important, I think. They remind us to pay attention to important events. Wedding anniversaries, birthdays, holidays and Earth Day. They offer us a time to take a collective breath, sit down and think about those we love, those we celebrate, those we lost and on Earth Day, the mother we all love. We wouldn’t be here without her.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw the picture of the blue marble earth, taken by the Apollo astronauts. Blue oceans, white clouds, green landmass, brown landmass, all sitting in perfect order against the blackness of space. It reminded us all that we are a part of a whole planet, and when viewed from afar doesn’t show border lines, war zones or cultural differences. Six billion people living on this little rotating ball in the cosmos. Taking a distant look from space and seeing Mother Earth, you’d think that all was well.
Looks can be deceiving. A couple of years after those dramatic pictures were taken, the first Earth Day was celebrated. People were demanding a change in how we managed air and water pollution. The year was 1970, and there was great tumult in the times. The Vietnam war was raging, a cultural revolution was underway, and Rachel Carson had written ‘The Silent Spring’. Santa Barbara had just suffered through a massive oil spill. The Cuyahoga River, which feeds lake Erie had caught on fire.
A United States Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, garnered political support from the right and the left, and organized the first Earth Day on April 22nd, 1970. 20 million Americans took to the streets, and parks, and gave face to the notion of change. The change came in the form of a new Department; the Environmental Protection Agency. Congress also passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
I graduated from High School in 1970, and I remember well the strife of the times. I wondered what kind of world I was about to enter as a young adult. My Grandparents had always had a garden. I loved the outdoors. I loved to fly. I became an airline pilot, and spent 33 years looking down at crop circles, the Alaskan Rockies, and beautiful desolate Eastern Russia. It was a mid view of the world you might say. I took up my Grandparent’s love of the garden and started one of my own. It led to buying the Worm Farm, and my astonishment at all the great things worms do.
I have always thought that we are more alike than we are different from one another. People want to connect with each other. They long to live in peace. They want to watch their children grow up and perhaps see their grandchildren blossom. I have heard it said that a smile is recognized in all cultures the same way; it says we’re happy. At the Worm Farm, on Earth Day, we are going to cultivate our garden, tend to our plants and water our Worms. On this 42nd anniversary of Earth day we can celebrate this beautiful little home we all share. We’re all for clean air, clean water, and worms. Love your ‘Mother’. She’s the only one we have.
Happy Earth Day from the crew at the Worm Farm. ‘Join the underground movement’.