By Tooker Gomberg and Angela Bischoff, Edmonton, Alberta.
For Earth Day, let’s exercise our imagination and savour how things could be.
Today, Earth Day, we’re going to plant our feet in the earth and our heads in the clouds. Why not? Reality can be such a strain sometimes. And reality changes. Ages ago everybody KNEW that the Earth was flat.
And now, we’ve all seen those photos of this swirly blue planet from space. Except for the village people we met last year in China and Vietnam. But they have an intimate connection to the land, through growing rice, that many of us have lost.
If we can imagine the Earth recovering from the stresses humans have inflicted, then hope and action can follow. We hope.
Here are a few random Earth Day fantasies we’re savouring. Cook up your own and send them to us, if you’d like. We’ll compile and circulate them.
* Imagine you are listening to the radio, and instead of the announcer blathering ’bout the Dow Jones (as if it measured the health of your world!), a State-of-the-Forests report comes on the air. Somehow, a sudden awareness blossoms that we need ancient forests and clean air much more than we need gold or diamonds.
* Berkeley’s Richard Register inspires the planning and design of the west coast bioregion’s cities and towns. The theme: ten toes are better than one lead foot. Walking rules the day. Rooftop pedways and gardens, terraces, slides alongside buildings, outdoor public escalators. Why be locked onto flat planes when there is a landscape around us! Streams are uncovered. Streets are taken back, depaved, and celebrated. Bountiful fruit trees abound.
* Military expenditures are transformed into Peace Dividends after people start observing a minute of silence for the 30 kids who died that minute from easily preventable diseases, and for the $1.3 million spent on defense.
* Oil, gas and forest industry executives – the faceless ones – sell Girl Guide cookies as penance for misdeeds against humanity. The worst corporations have their corporate charters revoked.
* Every aware person contributes snippets of time, and chunks of their salary, for the earth. Many people have heard the earth’s alarm bells sounding for some time. It’s time for the passion for change to rush over the planet like a tidal wave. What’s holding us back?
As elder John McConnell, founder of Earth Day, writes, “Actions, good or bad, begin in the mind.” Let’s focus the glass and sizzle the tinder into blazing action.
The final word goes to Goethe: “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness, concerning all acts of initiative (and creation). There is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”