I have little patience for those pseudo-intellectual
urban-environmentalists who get all worked up over Earth Day. Like
performing children anticipating goodies from Santa on Christmas,
Greenpeacers and their ilk, clamor to parks and podiums to sing praises
to nature and curse the greedy corporations and politicians — in hopes
of being rewarded by network news coverage.
Every day is Earth Day to the people who own and work the land.
We celebrate the first green mouse-ear that sprouts on a maple tree.
Green spears rising through last fall’s leaf crop, or the remnants of
the last snowfall, promise yellow daffodil trumpets, which herald
another performance of the symphony of spring.
We get excited when the ground is warm enough to invest the first tomato
plant; he who produces the first Early Girl or Better Boy is the year’s
champion in our neighborhood. (Earth Day practitioners will have no
idea what this means).
When the hum of tractors in the distance precedes the rooster crows, and
the woods are filled with redbud and dogwood blossoms, and squirrels do
battle with blue jays for the right to nature’s bounty in a waking oak
tree — now here is celebration.
Watching the corn tower to tassel, then turn to Halloween tan, just to
make the pumpkins pop out; seeing the combines collect the cotton, and
stack it into monstrous bales; feeling the nip in the air that accompanies foggy mornings and a lazy sunrise — these are my Earth Days.
As wonderful as they are, they are no better than those days when the
snow falls, and wind howls, and I can smell the chocolate-chip cookies
browning perfectly in the oven while I watch the Tennessee Titans
kick butt in Jacksonville. These are the days of this earth. These
are the days for living.
We don’t need a single day to celebrate, nor an excuse to pretend that
we have some special appreciation for God’s creation. In fact, April
22, Earth Day, has become something of an embarrassment. There are
always those would-be do-gooders, who think chaining themselves to
someone else’s tree, or hanging a stupid banner from the top of a water
tower is going to save the planet.
Those who need this kind of celebration actually need to be re-tested,
or get therapy, or both. Neither their words delivered from a
podium nor their antics delivered to the media can help or hinder the
planet. They are simply activities that provide the practitioners some
temporary justification for their existence.
I invite those people who get hopped up over Earth Day to get a life.
Invest a tomato plant in the land and it will yield dividends far beyond
Listen for the hum of tractors on a distant hillside — setting the table
for future meals around the world. These are the champions of Earth Day
— every day.