Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy;
Most celebrations of Earth Day tend toward the practical, or a simple celebration of the birth of our finall-visible spring, but the widespread celebration of Earth Day is in fact rooted in the conversation between awe and grief.
Awe inspired by the 1972 image of blue marble from Apollo 17 and collective grief came with the publication of Pennsylvanian Rachel Carson’s 1968 book Silent Spring, which engaged imagination to move readers to feel the deep grief of a future foretold by then-current action and inaction.
As faith communities, on Earth Day we are called to hold these things together —this awe and this grief— for without one, the other cannot be. If we did not love our Common Home and our neighbors, there would be no call for lament, and no need for action. But we do.
And so for us, Earth Day is not one-off birthday celebration, but rather can be a day to celebrate and commit ourselves to work —practical and joyful work, and prayerful and grief-tender work— with and for one another throughout the year. Some work we may take on as practical necessity, some we may take on as spiritual discipline, as a way of finding our way back into right relationship with neighbor and squirrel, stream and Source.
On this Earth day, let us seek, reveal, and feel connection with the earth and all who dwell therein. May we continue in determined and active hope.
Celebrate Earth Day with your faith community!
Earth Day is on Sunday, April 22, 2018.
Read on for resources, and a really important poem.