Earth Day has historically been one of the most important days of the year at Awakening Seed. It’s an embodiment of the Seed’s mission statement: “Awakening Seed is an innovative, compassionate learning community that inspires global citizens by fostering curiosity, celebrating uniqueness, and promoting social justice.” This year, more than any other year, it was important to acknowledge our beautiful planet and our interconnectedness with each other.
Since we were distanced from each other, with our Seeds scattered far and wide around the valley, we decided to engage our families on Earth Day with a simple request—spend time outside, even if just for a few minutes in the back yard. We also asked families to take a photo and send it to their classroom teacher and to me. As the week has unfolded, the photos have been posted on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #seedsoutside2020. Lots of little stories have surfaced as well to accompany the photos. Overall, parents and staff have said how much doing this small gesture of going outside to honor the earth has affected their week. They mentioned it helped them feel the strength of our Seed community, and it renewed their sense of connection with each other.
One way I shared my outside time on Earth Day was giving the 1st/2nd graders a virtual tour of my garden. This came at the end of our weekly writing session, which on Wednesday included a list of hopes for the planet:
- love for school
- the universe to feel happy after we pick up trash
- most of the trash gets picked up from the earth
- the coronavirus will stop soon
- only the people who need the internet will use it
- we’ll have peace and fighting will stop
- less pollution on land and in the oceans
- the vaccination for the virus will be made
- less cars driving today and all days
- a lot more happiness in life
Seeing this list gave me hope, that these young humans are already thinking about these things and articulating their ideas so beautifully. A song called “Honor the Earth” by Nakho and Medicine for The People sent to me on that same morning offered another message of hope. In particular, these chorus lyrics resonated with how I’ve been feeling lately:
“I will be there when the work is done
What I leave for my grandchildren
Honor the Earth, the mother comes first
Live in a good way for her”
As time goes on, especially in our current state of being on Planet Earth, I recognize that my continuing work is to keep living in a way that is good for the earth, and helping others find a way to do the same. The song also confirmed a commitment I made earlier in my life, to keep working as long as I am needed, to keep showing up, and to “be there when the work is done.” This is a crucial time of doing the work, and I have faith that our communal efforts will bear fruit in the days and years ahead that will be good for Mother Earth and all her creatures.