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.

16 thoughts on “HELLO EARTH !

  1. Brilliant and profound. I love you too, Earth, and Selma too.

    We took part in Earth Hour, although we only heard about it late in the day. It was lovely.


  2. Well, I had to work, so I couldn’t participate. BUT–this is just so inspiring, Selma. I think of Earth as a sister and friend and this reminded me that I don’t tell her how much I appreciate her. (And, you, my friend…I appreciate you, too.)

    I hope you don’t mind if I share this with my Earth Day and gardening folks. It’s just such a sweet piece.


  3. ANGRY – thanks, Earth!

    VEGGIES – I hope it becomes a regular event too. So nice of you to stop by.

    KAREN – some people might scoff and say it’s a waste of time but things like Earth Hour are definitely a step in the right direction. I love you too!

    HEATHER – I would be deeply honoured if you shared it. Thank you so much !


  4. I loved the concept of Earth Day – but not many of my neighbors participated… stopped by Jake’s blog to say hi and asked him who his favorite idol will be now since Chikezie is gone!


  5. To our shame, I don’t think anywhere in the UK participated … which is a pity, because I feel so much light is wasted … I’m dog-sitting at the moment, and can take the pooch for his evening walk WITHOUT taking a torch!

    And, an amateur astronomer friend tells me he belongs to a movement called ‘Give us back our night’

    It reminded me of a piece I wrote some years back; here’s a short extract:

    ‘Tiny Marathi, only a loud shout across the water from Arki, has a permanent population of about 30 people, one church, but three tavernas. It’s a favourite night stop for independent cruisers, and the taverna where they eat and drink is dictated by the colour of the buoy they pick up when they moor their boat.

    They say that on Marathi, they’ve got the stars wired into the utilities. That’s because there’s no mains electricity, and when they shut the generator down for the night, the stars really come out!

    It’s not the place to be if you’re the kind of person who complains about your neighbour’s wind-chimes, for your reveille in the morning will be the plangent clangour of goat-bells, accompanied by the crowing of a rooster.’


  6. It’s times like these that I wish I lived anywhere but here. As I sat in the dark, I looked outside and noticed that pretty much every light was on in every home. It saddens me that the people in my city did not take place in helping out the Earth.

    But I love your story and am happy to hear that your night was good!


  7. TRAVELRAT – despite thinking initially that most Sydneysiders were too obsessed with consumerism to participate, I have been elated to discover there was an extremely high rate of participation. Admittedly, many people had ‘Lights Out At 8’ parties where there was a lot of snogging and what not in the shadows (shocking, I know. The things people in the ‘suburbs’ get up to 😉 ) But the main thing is, the message got through. It was a great sight to see the lights go out on the Harbour Bridge. Just brilliant! Great piece, incidentally. I would love to read the whole thing.

    HILLY – there is an Earth Day coming up in April I believe. Heather, who writes the blog I’m Not Hannah (in my Daily Fix blogroll) is one of the organisers in Georgia. Don’t be disheartened – you thought about the significance of it and wanted to participate. And that’s a start. BTW, I’m so glad you’re going to Philly. That really touches me. There are some good people out there!


  8. >> I would love to read the whole thing.<<

    Tell you what … I’ll include it in a ‘Greece’ page to be put up in May.


  9. >> there was a lot of snogging and what not in the shadows <<

    So, what’s new?

    I seem to remember at parties in Adelaide in the 60s, it was women in the lounge, men in the kitchen and the ‘young couples’ out in the garden!


  10. I participated in Earth hour and spent the time by candlelight talking on the phone to someone very dear to me. It was an hour well spent.


  11. TRAVELRAT – YAY. I’ll look forward to it. Sounds like nothing much has changed in Oz since the 60s. 😉

    GYPSY – That sounds magical.


  12. I’m so glad to be able to say that we knew about Earth Hour and also participated. I still think that the enlightened (no pun intended) blog community should/could come up with an Earth Hour type of event, but on a regular basis, perhaps once a month. What do you think Selma? Readers?


    PS: Im adding you to my blogroll now! 🙂 Great blog you’ve got here, Selma.


  13. VEGGIES – you are lovely. I also love your blog and am going to add you to my blogroll. I’m all for a blogging Earth Hour. Let’s see what we can come up with!


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