When I was a kid, my mother would always take me outside in the evening when the sun was setting. Golden rays of light set the green blades on fire. I would watch, enraptured, as little specs of dust floated through the air. My mother would sit down next to me and tell me stories about how the trees, the grass, and the flowers came to be. She told me that nature was just like a mother, providing us with food and a home. Mom said that Mother Earth was powerful enough to regenerate when it was destroyed, and it could create beautiful things.
I used to be so in awe of the stories my mom told. I did extensive research on goddesses and natural disasters. I would watch nature documentaries religiously and I would anxiously await every evening, where I’d be able to learn some more information about this mysterious Mother Earth.
At precisely 5 pm, I would make my mom stop whatever she was doing so that we could go outside. “It’s time to embrace Mother Earth!” I’d screech, and my mom would settle down and tell the same old story again, adding a different details so it seemed like a new one.
After the story was over, she’d walk in the house and I’d be left outside, soaking in the last dying bits of sunshine. As I got older, the stories stopped, but I never stopped enjoying lying outside. In the warm dirt with the shadows of the tall trees overhead, everything runs together like watercolors and it’s hard to distinguish where I end and where I begin. I am a part of every ray of sunlight. Every green leaf. Every blade of grass. I am the harmony of the laugh on a breeze. After a stressful day, I can finally relax and be a part of something bigger than myself. I am just one blip in the history of the universe yet the choices I make can affect so many.
When I'm out there, I like to think about how Mother Earth in the stories I were told is kind of like my mother. My mother has seen how poverty can make people's hearts hard and black, but through it all she continues to give unconditional love. My mother who refuses to be silenced. Who will defy all common sense to protect her children. Who has seen so much and is wise beyond her years. Whenever I'm inspired by nature, I'm reminded of those stories, and her.
The Earth has been around for over 4.543 billion years. It has been around to see many sunsets and sunrises. It has seen bloody wars and devastation. It has seen scandals that have torn families apart. It has seen the valor of revolutions. It has seen deforestation, melting glaciers, and the extinction of animals. It has seen more epiphanies, more quiet revelations, and more inspirations than any one of us will ever see in our lifetime. The winds of time have made Earth weathered but strong. It is still slowly revolving in its steady path around the sun, a testament to all it has acknowledged. Right now, it's acknowledging every single one of us.
This Earth day, don't forget to do something that connects you to nature, even if it's small. Hug a tree, recycle, water a plant. Mother Earth will thank you.