Today, Saturday March 28, marks the annual observation of Earth Hour at 8:30 pm local time. It’s the time when people across the globe turn off their lights for one hour as a symbol of their commitment to Earth, and in support of climate change action. Turning out the lights is a symbolic gesture – something entirely simple most people can easily do. But of course it’s not meant to stop there. It’s an invitation. Using that hour to think about what you might do; what causes you can support; what you can commit to in order to be a blessing to Earth rather than a burden can be a powerful start.
This year especially seems like a powerful time to do this. As I imagine we’ve all been spending time thinking about our existence, both individually and collectively, it’s become increasingly clear how interrelated we all are as beings sharing this planet. There’s also the additional information that’s being shared at the moment about the impact the global pandemic is having on the environment. Air quality is improved due to less traffic and factory closures. However, it’s likely there are negative impacts not yet measured, including increased waste as a result of single-use applications of items as hygiene practices shift. It’s reported that there is a huge problem in China with accumulation of medical waste, including disposal of single-use masks. All these things are yet to shake out, but clearly they’ll be part of future things to consider.
I think Joy Harjo’s poem is a beautiful reminder, especially in these troubling times, of what’s really important.
“Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother’s, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
May we all find ways to honor and support our beautiful and sacred planet.
I didn’t know about an Earth Hour, but if it focuses the people of the world on something positive then I’m all for it. Of course, turning off the lights for an hour might mean that we’ll be asleep by 8:35, considering how relaxed our schedule has become around here.
LOL – maybe you should just consider the early bedtime as evening out the challenges springing ahead changing our clocks wrought.
I’ve just joined a group of meditators (none of whom I know) who meditate for an hour at 5.30 am and 8.30 pm every day, Before this evening’s one (which was to be my first), I reminded them that Earth Hour was tonight at 8,30. I believe this group only fairly recently came together, and my son invited me. Who they are or where they live, I have no clue which is fine. So, for me, it was a double dose of desert. I came out of it about a half hour ago ..
I hope this finds you well Deborah. I have no idea whether you’re in lockdown like we are here in SA, 21 days, today is day 2, I hope your country does not get hit too badly by covid-19.
Thank you for your lovely post 🙂
The meditation group sounds wonderful Susan, and especially perfect for these times. I hope it’s working out.
While this country does not have a national unified response to covid-19, my state is indeed on ordered shelter-at-home. May you stay well, as is my hope for everyone.
That’s a great observance because it’s meaningful and yet not onerous. I think we’ve learned how interconnected the world is, but unfortunately, for too many people, that will now become a huge threat. Us vs them. I hope I’m wrong.
I hope you’re wrong as well Margaret. This is an unprecedented opportunity for us to shift our thoughts, our patterns, our priorities, and I hope we make the very best of it all, now and onward.
Hi Deborah – love the poem … how true it is. I knew about Earth Hour … and though didn’t participate – I’m trying to eliminate the excess from my life … and making plans once we’re free to go about our daily business once again: it sounds longer than we might think at the moment … into early summer.
As Margaret says I hope the world will become unified … if not now – at least we will have learnt the lesson, and once we can we strip these years away we can become more appreciative of others.
Take care – Hilary
I tend to agree with you Hilary that we’re likely in for a longer haul than many think at the moment. But every day I see great kindnesses and compassion, and beauty still abounds. May we all rise to our best selves!