Reflections, on Earth Day 2021

The Climate Action Alliance of the Valley hosted a gathering at the pond at Purcell Park on Earth Day 2021 for a time of reflection with others to consider our relationship to the earth, to give grateful thoughts for what we love and cherish and how we want to see the future unfold. Photo by Cathy Strickler.

Below are thoughts and reflections contributed by those at the Reflecting on Earth Day gathering:

Gathering here on Earth Day brings to mind our time with all the students at Stanford on that first Earth Day in 1970. Though we failed to make all the necessary changes since then, I pray to find the courage and the will to make those changes now, for the sake of us all, for the sake of our beloved Earth.   Earl Martin

1970 – Junior Yr. college.  I’m happy we’ve come this far… lovely ‘hippie’/indiginious song we used to sing:  “the  earth is our mother, we must take care of her” with tom-toms beating…  I’m just now reading letters my parents sent me then, Spring l970.  My father was sillier than I remember – my mother more kind.  Let’s continue to take care of all our Mothers on the Earth.  Thank you.

Sitting here under this tree, seeing the emerging new green growth of spring, and feeling the breeze on my face on this Earth day reminds me that the whole earth is alive, sacred and interconnected.  I am one small part of this vast ecosystem.  Earl Zimmerman 

Earth Day 2021,  Now is the time for Awakening!  We now have a global threat that affects us all….Climate Change.  We humans must overcome our differences and work together to help heal Planet Earth.  Our sacred home…how I love you.  The Divine shines in your face as well as mine.  Separation is illusion.  Let us unite into healing.  Life is love…all is One.  Tomahawk

My thoughts keep racing.  Fast as the ripples and wind.  People busy, not seeing.  Quiet.  Listen.  To the fountain, to the traffic, so constant.  Listen to my heart breaking.  And the birds.  And look.  It is actually spitting snow on this page.  And there is blue sky, too.  And bikers and a bright pink tree.  And the huge ancient oak and its full rippling reflection.  Yes, have a full heart of gratitude for the beauty and richness so deep.  And appreciation for the people here now and everywhere doing good in so many ways.  Yes, we are dwarfed by nature like we are here by the swamp oak but we, I, can move and write and talk with my brain, smile, voice, body.

Creation Care.  Naming the birds and compost critters, connecting with nature, educating kids around food and gardening, etc, etc.

Earth Day 2021
Redbud glows, Water flows
Evergreen pines, Dandelion shines
Cloud drifts, Mood shifts
Breath slows, Quiet grows
Joy arrives – I am alive!
Thank you for this delightful event – Rose

51 yrs. of Earth Day
many many marches for stopping climate change
two arrests for stopping climate change
18 days of water only for stopping climate change
attended COP 15 for stopping climate change
Hours and hours of meetings to stop climate change
The earth is good, let’s take care of it. C.E. Strickler

What does Earth Day mean to you?  Reverence for All life.

All the elements of paradise
Fluffy clouds, Flowing water, Brilliant sunshine, Cool air, Magnificent trees, Sweet birdsong and the hint of coming moonlight.
But it’s not paradise. It’s our home, our planet. Earth. Aren’t we lucky!

Your stillness is my safety.  Your beauty is my nourishment.  When the world seems hard I go to you.  The trees, The Birds, The rivers, The sky. They all are the reasons I want to fight to protect For the Future generations To feel the beautiful safety too.  Carrie W.

Earth Day began the environmental revolution not only for the U.S., but also for the world.  Other countries followed suit.

This is a small way that I demonstrate my commitment to what we Jews call Tikkun Olam which means repairing the world.  Andy Kohen

Nice to see dogwoods blooming.  They can no longer exist in N. Indiana. Time to think about the need for protection of the natural world – Pick up trash. Recycle. Use less energy.  Create less trash.  How to feed all the people.  Earth Day goes unnoticed.

What does Earth Day 2021 Mean To Me.  On this Earth Day a year after the beginning of the Pandemic I feel that I and many others are more acutely aware of our Planet, Mother Earth as we have been able to be in the woods and fields – reflecting on what we must do as a people to reduce our carbon footprint and resolve that we don’t have any time to waste.

Happy birthday, Earth.  Timeless and ageless beyond our mortal comprehension.  Nevertheless we carry on our ceaseless dance across the expanse of your broad shoulders, and rest in the caress of your giant hands.  Tenderly you weep for us.  Your wayward children, the prodigal sons and daughters who do nothing but take you for granted, and boast of our achievement in overcoming you.  Only time will tell how this story ends, and I hope we all have plenty of time to tell each other, and you, Dear Earth, how much we all appreciate each other. Stuart J. McCumsey

Earth Day – How well I remember 51 years ago, when we celebrated the first Earth Day in San Jose, CA.  We now know so much more about what we as humans have/are contributing to the degradation of our Earth.  We also love the Earth so much more!  I often grieve at the seeming inevitability of our demise on this planet which is achingly beautiful.  But, we do what we can and continue loving our Mother Earth.  Pat H. Martin

Earth Day April 22, 2021
Dear Mother Earth,
I am so grateful for the many gifts you give to us earthlings – We would not survive without your generosity – We need to treat you better – You provide oxygen to enable our breath -we are abusing and polluting the air…We are polluting water for our own greed in not treating toxic materials and carelessly letting it poison the land and water which humans and all of nature need for life. As we awaken from the dark cold days of winter – we enjoy the bright green leaves and colorful flowers giving us beautiful colors and light. Let us be more intentional in our activities to work hard to preserve and enrich this blessed planet.

Earth Day Reflections at Purcell Park Pond, Harrisonburg, Virginia
April 22, 2021 Lynn Smith

Can we humans ever conceptualize that the work of all Earth’s living things and living systems is an essential web that sustains all life? We cannot continue to use without preserving or restoring or giving back what WE HUMANS take from Earth only to waste and destroy resources. We do not realize the value of what we think has somehow been given to us alone to selfishly, thoughtlessly use, destroy and abandon. What if we had to pay for all that seems to be free for us to take? How will we learn the true cost of our excesses?

The bill is now coming due. Will we, can we, ever understand the depth of our ignorance and fallibility and correct the deficit?

Today I have brought a pledge to be Earth stewards from the book
We Are Water Protectors by Ojibwe author Carole Lindstrom
illustrated by Tlingit and Haida tribal artist Michaela Goade.

This 2021 winner of the Caldecott medal, with its inspiring indigenous story, asks us to honor Earth, our one and only home, and pledge to stand as Earth Stewards and Water Protectors.

I have amended the pledge for myself to include:
*plants and all organisms on and under the ground which are building, restoring, and strengthening soil, and
**ocean environments which human actions have poisoned, trashed, injured and comprised.


I will do my best to honor Mother Earth and all living beings, including the water and land.

I will always remember to treat the Earth as I would like to be treated.

I will treat …

the winged ones, the crawling ones,

the four-legged, the two legged,

the plants*, trees,

rivers, lakes, oceans**,

the Earth

with kindness and respect.

I pledge to make this world a better place by being a steward of the Earth and a protector of the water.

My name ____________________

Today’s date ________________

A printable version of this pledge is HERE.

Charlie Strickler and Lynn Smith by the pond at Purcell Park, Earth Day 2021. Photo by Cathy Strickler.