by Lola Ridge
The earth is motionless
And poised in space . . .
A great bird resting in its flight
Between the alley of the stars.
It is the wind’s hour off . . .
The wind has nestled down among the corn . . .
The two speak privately together,
Awaiting the whirr of wings.
I didn’t spend Earth Day planting a tree or picking up trash, but traveling—from Sacramento to Stockton to San Francisco. At a stop in Napa County, not in a picturesque vineyard, but in an industrial park where two huge yellow earth movers were silent, finished with their work for the day. A breeze riffled a small field of wild flowers just off the road and a pair of red-winged blackbirds flitted from cattail to fencepost and back again. I am always amazed at how the natural world carries on, constantly adapting , until it no longer can, to our improvements and developments.
Back in the car, Earth Day stories filled the airways and newspapers. A few of my favorites:
This NPR story tells how the day got its name from Julian Koenig, the same adman who came up with “it takes a licking and keeps on ticking” for Timex watches. His simple “earth day” was a big improvement over the original “environmental teach-in” or “ecology day”.
On Talk of the Nation, host Neal Conan interviewed Lester Brown, the president of the Earth Policy Institute, about how the politics and focus of Earth Day have shifted over the years.
In the Santa Fe Reporter, this week’s cover story was “Oh, Beehave!” It was encouraging to read about those in New Mexico working to save honeybees after the dire warnings about the collapse of their populations.
Tickle bees are not endangered like honeybees, but this is a fun story with a video out of Portland about ground-nesting bees and an elementary school that has adopted them.
Happy Earth Day!