Earth Day (22 April), celebrating the planet and encouraging people to be more environmentally friendly, was first celebrated in 1970 (after a big oil spill in the USA) and is seen to officially mark the beginning of the modern environmental movement.
The Paris Climate Agreement
In 2016, Earth Day was particularly significant as leaders from 160 countries officially signed the Paris Climate Agreement which includes a commitment to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius and to provide resources to help developing countries. There have been hitches and clashes between countries since. But, at the November 2021 COP26 meeting in Glasgow, the international community finalized the remaining details of the Paris Agreement and there is now a functioning global climate treaty.
Earth Day Network
Earth Day is co-ordinated by the Earth Day Network which is a non-profit making organisation.
The Earth Laughs In Flowers
According to Ralph Waldo Emerson “The Earth Laughs in flowers” and I think he may have been right. With May on the horizon our land is dappled with beautiful spring flowers. We have a big patch of early wild poppies on one of our grass banks that make your heart smile to look at them.
We have a fabulous display of irises each year. I was given a number of irises as a birthday present several years ago but initially lost quite a few to the wild boar and porcupine who see them as tasty snacks and dig them up to eat. However, they have gradually taken a hold and how we have large areas that are a mass of beautiful banks of blue bearded irises.
It seems fitting they are in full bloom on Earth Day as they are the flower of the Greek Goddess Iris who is the Messenger of Love. And what better than to love the earth?
Each Flower Is A Soul Opening Out To Nature
Another of my favorite quotes is “Each flower is a soul opening out to nature.” (Gerald De Nerval). You can almost see that spiritual aspect with irises, the tight bud points to the sky and gives a hint of the color of the flower that will unfurl. Then the flowers suddenly bloom and it is almost as if they burst open to reveal the wonders inside including, in this case, the beautiful yellow of the interior. It is like you can see right into the soul of the flower.
Unfortunately Earth Day this year has followed a number of major disasters. Together with the devastation caused by man in war zones, these activities have caused serious loss of life. Not mention destruction to property and infrastructure.
How much we all contribute to the earth shaking her head in disbelief at our actions is unknown. All we can do is each take responsibility for our impact on the environment. And do our best to leave foot prints not scars.
This post was originally published in 2016 and updated regularly, the most recent being April 2023.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!