EarthDay21: Restoring Earth through Wonder

Earth Day is being celebrated on 20-22 April this year, with a focus on the climate emergency. Children, adults, communities, organisations and governments will unite on the theme ‘Restore Our Earth.’

Key events:

Earth Day 2021 now unfolds with a global youth climate summit led by Earth Uprising, in collaboration with My Future My Voice, OneMillionOfUs, and hundreds of youth climate activists. 

Tomorrow, 21 April, Education International will lead the “Teach for the Planet: Global Education Summit.” This summit will focus on the crucial role that educators play in combating climate change and why we need transformative climate education now. 

Register at https://www.teach4theplanet.org/join-us/

Then on 22 April, EARTHDAY.ORG will have its second Earth Day Live digital event will cover natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems.

There is thankfully so much positive energy around this week, with so much focus on our beautiful planet, and what we can do to repair and prevent further damage, I could not do justice to the millions involved. Instead, I choose to share a poem by the Irish poet, author, and Hegelian philosopher, John O’Donohue, someone I regularly turn to for inspiration and peace. For me, this is a strong and powerful reminder that we would not ‘be’ without the Earth and all the gifts Mother Nature bestows on us. Poignant I believe at a time when we look to take responsibility and commit to greater care and respect for Our World. Our challenge, this week, and beyond, I believe, is to awaken our sense of wonder for the world, accepting its fragility and power, and take action to protect and respect what ultimately sustains us.

In Praise of the Earth – John O’Donohue

Let us bless
The imagination of the Earth,
That knew early the patience
To harness the mind of time,
Waited for the seas to warm,
Ready to welcome the emergence
Of things dreaming of voyaging
Among the stillness of land.


And how light knew to nurse
The growth until the face of the Earth
Brightened beneath a vision of color.


When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.


Let us thank the Earth
That offers ground for home
And holds our feet firm
To walk in space open
To infinite galaxies.


Let us salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.


The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed’s self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.


The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.


The kindness of the Earth,
Opening to receive
Our worn forms
Into the final stillness.


Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth
For all our sins against her:
For our violence and poisonings
Of her beauty.


Let us remember within us
The ancient clay,
Holding the memory of seasons,
The passion of the wind,
The fluency of water,
The warmth of fire,
The quiver-touch of the sun
And shadowed sureness of the moon.


That we may awaken,
To live to the full
The dream of the Earth
Who chose us to emerge
And incarnate its hidden night
In mind, spirit, and light.

To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings, by John O’Donohue (2008)


3 Replies to “EarthDay21: Restoring Earth through Wonder”

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