Today (22nd April) is Earth Day. This is confirmed by an email from Traidcraft Exchange, sent at 08.01 this morning. As part of the Regenerators Appeal, they’re going to celebrate by planting 300 acres of fruit trees in Tanzania (with help from supporters, at £50 per acre, and by the doubling of donations by the UK Government). Not only will these trees absorb CO2 and provide flood protection, the fruit they produce will provide employment, income, nourishment and an all-round better life for local people who currently live in poverty.
When I followed the link to the website page (at 1.45 pm) I found that the target of £15,000 had already been reached! That in itself is a reason to celebrate Earth Day.
In between these two communications I went for a walk as it was such a lovely sunny morning. By way of appreciating the beauties of the earth, I tried to put myself in the position of a child discovering for the first time the landscape we take for granted.
Would a wee boy pick dandelions for his gran, just because they’re nice and bright? Why would he not favour dandelions over daffodils? There are plenty of both at the moment, and I am reminded of Jan Sutch Pickard’s piece entitled “The cheerful unrepentant weeds” in which she praises the dandelions for their colour and the fact that they can cheer up a desolate piece of wasteland.
Unlike orchids, for instance, dandelions need little by way of careful tending. To the irritation of the gardener, they can be gone today and back tomorrow. You could try harvesting them to make wine, though you might discover then that they are not as plentiful as you imagined.
Now to the beach. A treasure trove for a child! Look at all the pebbles – different shapes, colours, textures, sizes. They can be thrown in the water with a satisfying splash or taken home and placed carefully on a windowsill or stored in a special box. As for the waves, the thrill of getting wet – but without letting the water reach the top of your wellies – is a game that usually goes on until the water wins and the socks are soaked through.
Such simple things, so easy to take them for granted. But not today. On this Earth Day, let’s praise our Creator for the beautiful world he has made and for the kindness of those whose gifts will enable the planting of 300 acres of fruit trees in Tanzania.
Whether or not you’re able to go out for your own “child-centred” walk, I invite you to spend a few minutes listening to and watching this video of “All things bright and beautiful” sung to the tune arranged by John Rutter: All Things Bright And Beautiful - John Rutter | Cambridge Singers - City of London Sinfonia - YouTube