Earth Day 2023 — plant a tree, plant a seed and your intentions too

Earth Day 2023 — plant a tree, plant a seed and your intentions too April 22, 2023

Earth Day
Earth Day ~ Mother Earth. BY CORNELIA KOPP

Well once again, it’s Earth Day. This celebration, founded in 1970, is a day to educate people on environmental issues. However, in my opinion, it is also a day to celebrate Mother Earth, give thanks for her nourishment and give back. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to keep Her healthy.

Recently, I interviewed an elderly man in my town who saw a need to step up and donate a few shade trees to our township. He acknowledged that a few were dying, however he believed some did not require cutting down. The township’s Shade Tree Division feared the potential damage that may come if those very old trees fell. The trees were dropping many branches near vehicles and where people usually walk, which could be dangerous.

Earth Day
Shade Tree. By Friggy_30

The township assumed it was being proactive; however, the elderly man believes a little tender loving care is the answer. I’m no tree expert but maybe pruning on a regular basis would do the trick. While Mother Nature takes care of herself in the woods, in a small town or city, we are the caretakers. We have to keep in mind the surrounding area too.

Trees do not care if there are power lines, roofs, pools, or anything else in their way. The only things they know how to do is provide nutrients and maybe a home to the little critters. Moreover, we benefit from their shade.

While the township has a policy to replace trees they take down, it does not specifically state what type. He noticed the trees selected including Cherry Blossoms do not give off much cover and are not shade trees.

In his view, this is an issue as the townships shade trees are slowly diminishing. Therefore, he is doing his part even if it is only donating two, maybe three trees. He sees it as a small gesture and no big deal. It doesn’t matter the size of the effort, just the fact that something is being done. If we all did just a little, small changes grow into big ones and something amazing blossoms.

It is time to do our part and give back to Mother Earth, even if it’s a small step. Plant a tree; grow a garden — vegetable, flower or even just some herbs. These little things make a lot of difference. We must nurture it and take care of Mother Earth, water Her, plant trees and gardens.

Earth Day
Compost-dirt. By Normanack

Every autumn, my township collects the leaves we bag that have fallen from the trees. Come Earth Day weekend there is a pile of about 30 square yards of compost in one of the municipal lots. Residents are able to fill either five leaf bags or two garbage cans of the black gold. It’s nice to see the efforts returned. This is great for gardens, especially if you grow a vegetable garden as I do each year. The plants thank you with a bountiful harvest.

This weekend is Blue Jean Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair where I am a member. The congregants are gathering before the service to plant flowers, rake out weeds and clean up the front lawn. Afterwards, every time they go to the congregation or pass by they will see the fruits of their labor.

It’s a give and take, we give our time and nourish Her and we are rewarded with shade and food. Oh, we cannot forget the birds and bees. Actually all the creatures, the butterflies and other insects are necessary and play an important role. Without them, our gardens would not survive or at least not produce. Moreover, if we plant a native garden — plants that are originally from your area, the reward will be in multitudes.

While planting those trees and gardens, include your intentions as well. Plant what you want to see grow to fruition. At the end of the growing season, look back at your successes. When you give thanks to Mother Nature at Mabon, add those too.

We must work on these planted intentions, just like maintaining our gardens. If you plant a garden and forget about it, weeds will grow and the plants will wither and die. No support, no tender loving care, nothing will emerge. We need to water our intentions and feed them. This is true for people as well.

Butterfly Insect. Photo by Macro Mama on StockSnap

I have worked this into ritual for Imbolc and Ostara, however even Beltaine, is not too late. After all, it is a fertility ritual for the land; why not include the birthing of your intentions.

So go plant your vegetable, flower, herbal and spiritual gardens and a tree too. While you are at it, put on your gloves, grab a bag and help clean Her. Go to a park that needs some TLC. As I said, sprucing up is good for Her. People litter on purpose or accidentally. Don’t pass by it, pick it up, keep her clean. Not just on Earth Day, but every day.

Teach others by setting an example. Maybe if they see someone else pick up litter they will too. OK, they may not but I can bet a child is watching and they might follow suit. It will spread like wildfire. Kids watch what adults do and follow them. It’s their world we’re trying to protect after all. I read a quote while writing this, the attribution by many with different variations. My take on it, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow Her from our children.”

See also: Earth Day 2022: 52 years of awareness – let’s continue the effort…

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