It seems like everything got green over the weekend. Flowers were out before that, of course, and the grass was growing (I mowed my grass for the first time last Tuesday. Many of my neighbors were on their second cutting and I’m sure they were looking at me wondering why I hadn’t mowed yet, but that’s a different discussion.) Still, this past weekend, it seemed like the earth finally shook off the last vestiges of winter and spring took hold—my apologies to those of you reading this who live to the north and are still struggling to kick winter to the curb.
It’s fitting, then, that Earth Day should come lock step after this green-up. While we’ve done a lot to care for the earth in recent decades it seems like we still have a lot of work to do. The river that runs through my hometown is dramatically cleaner than it was when I was a kid. The air is much better, too. I don’t hear anyone talk about the Kanawha crud any more—the coughing/wheezing you got from whatever the chemical plants were burning off into the atmosphere. Those are good things.
Last weekend, I spent time in the mountains of Pocahontas County, West Virginia with friends. Most of the county is within the Monongahela National Forest. Still there were beer bottles and soda cans on trails that people could only get to by hiking or riding four wheel drive vehicles. We were all frustrated by the sight of the trash. Pack out whatever you pack in. In the diving world, we say, “Take only pictures and leave only bubbles.”
The group Keep America Beautiful that created the Native American commercial is still out there doing good work.
This would seem to be a place where everyone can agree. “Liberals” who want to be green. “Conservatives” who enjoy nature. Christians and people of every faith who want to obey God. I understand that there are different approaches and we all have different ideas on what we should do, I think sometimes we forget to acknowledge that common ground first. After that, everything should be easy. Honestly, if we would take care of the little things, like litter, I think we would have an easier time with the big issues.