Last night we took part in Earth Hour at 8PM, turning off all our lights and getting the candles out. Jake loved it, claiming it was like a return to the good old days. (Incidentally he has just started his own blog called Seb Said It, so if you feel so inclined, stop by and say ‘Hi.’ I know he would really appreciate it.)
I was heartened by how many of our neighbours joined in. There was a simplicity in the darkness, a pleasure. The night hadn’t grown colder, just longer and wider.
I stood in the garden. Remembering moments as a child in the Highlands of Scotland or rural Ireland where all the lights in the village were out after 9 o’clock and a cloak fell softly over the land, gentle as a quilt made from goose down.
Hello Earth. I whispered. It’s me. We’re trying to save you. Many of us care, most of care, but we are frightened our efforts will be too miniscule to make a difference. We want to make a difference, you have to know that.
I’ve probably never told you, Earth. But I love you. I stroll through the park and your trees shade me, their leaves made up of the most perfect daubs of green. Even the most seasoned of painters would be hard pressed to capture the endless variety of greens that make up a tree.
Some days I get up and I feel low. There is a darkness in my heart that won’t go away and then I walk outside and see the sky. The blue appears, unwavering, effortless. Psychologists who study such things have agreed about the calming effects of such a blue. I love you for that too, Earth. We get all that tranquility for free.
Then there is the ocean. Some days I gaze out at it and the waves are flecked with white, like a thousand little pixies are swimming there, each wearing a white bathing cap. Once, a friend and I did some charity work and we took some disabled kids to swim with the dolphins. After seeing those dolphins up close I was awestruck, and the kids – they knew the true meaning of joy. I love you for that too, Earth.
And for the animals. All of them. Even the nasty ones like snakes and bugs, for they are all part of the cycle of life. I thank you for the dogs and the cats. The horses and the bears. For the fish in the rivers and the birds which wake me on summer mornings. How would my heart continue to lift without them?
And flowers. When I go to my friend’s garden and her roses bow to meet me in their pink, white and yellow shirts I feel like royalty of some kind. Then I see the tulips stand in faultless orange, facing the sun like little fairy goblets. And the jasmine pops along the fences like Christmas lights, filling the air with incense.
Oh, and Earth. I’ve probably never told you that I love the wind. The wind is your music, your voice; cooling us, calming us, sometimes warning us. Sometimes when it’s so hot that the blue hydrangeas on the front porch wilt like old ladies after a sherry and the air is so heavy I can almost gather it in handfuls, the blessed wind comes and blows away the dust of the afternoon. It is a thing to love.
People make up the world too. Good and bad. I thank you for the people I know and love and the people they know and love. I thank you for all of us. And I hope you can see that some of us have courage and tenacity and believe it is not too late to make a difference. Many, many people see your beauty. I am not the only one. We are probably all standing here in the dark, collectively, saying Hello and thanking you for all that you are.
And we mean it, dear Earth. We want things to change. We want you, the Earth, to be a better place. So we are going to start by turning out just one light. And so it will go on. And so it will go on. And the darkness will give us the power not to give up. For we know, dear Earth, that you are the only world we’ve got.