This morning one of the first messages appearing on my iPhone was from a Seed grad, wishing me the “happiest of Earth Days.” She said she’d be singing “Celebrate Life on Planet Earth” all day. It was a heart warmer. Other people have commented, too, some former students, their parents and staff. Reminders that our work here at the Seed is having an impact on young lives long after they are physically away from the school is more than gratifying. It also inspires me to want to keep doing the work.
Lately we’ve engaged in conversations about the Seed’s future at both the staff and board levels. We are in the process of looking back at what we’ve accomplished over the past 37 years and what we want the Seed to look like in the years ahead. It’s a process filled with mixed emotions and one that will ultimately keep the Seed alive and well for other generations to come. As these conversations evolve, it’s evident that what we want to keep in place, and even accentuate, are days like Earth Day. I’m not sure how much time is given to this day in other schools. Here at the Seed, it’s almost as big as the Celebration of the Winter Solstice or the Halloween Carnival.
Each year we approach it in a slightly different way. Other years we have made quilts, dedicated a castle on our playground, made posters and picked up trash. This year the 3rd and 4th graders painted a gigantic Earth on canvas to hang in the front of the school. Every class also worked on a project as part of an art installation by the front door. The installation has a tree with origami birds hanging from it, rain drops and a rainbow made of different colors of paper wrapped around sunflower stalks from the garden, a real compost pile surrounded with clay earthworms and a chart explaining why composting is important, and some cardboard flowers hung on the fence. There is also a box of dirt filled with sweet little sock creatures that we’re hoping, with a bit of sunshine and and water, will eventually sprout grass hair. And there is a bright warm sun, paper machéd by our very youngest toddler Seeds.
Soon we will gather to sing and share our Earth Day projects with each other before heading out to the playground for an all-school picnic. Although we try to make every day Earth Day, I’m glad we have set aside this day to truly honor our planet. It sets a foundation for our young students to know how to care for the Earth, and reminds the rest of us to keep up our global stewardship through every thought and action of our lives. Our planet’s future depends on it.