The celebration of Earth Day originates as a response to a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA. in January 1969. Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Perry utilized the energy of college campus organizations to rally behind an ecological message. The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970 featured 85 educational events across the United States. Today’s Earth Day is a celebration that includes 1 billion people in 192 countries.
Since the COVID-19 has shuttered cities and slowed lives, air pollution levels have dropped. IQAir has reported that New Delhi recorded a 60% fall of PM2.5 from 2019 levels, Seoul registered a 54% drop, while the fall in China’s Wuhan came in at 44%.
I find it striking how quickly the Earth heals itself. Striking does not capture it—I find it reassuring how quickly the Earth heals itself. It comforts me. It gives me hope.
Scars have great stories to tell—usually of carelessness, stupidity, and/or impatience. I have a scar on my left knee. I was riding my bike at the Washington Elementary School in the summer. The sloping hill on the playground offered speed and adventure for those who dared. My pedal clipped the blacktop and I slid—in shorts—on the raw pavement. I remember getting carried to my house several blocks away. Blood pooled in my sock.
The gouge on my knee lasted through baseball season, pool season, camp season. Any time I slid, moved, or fell (which, was apparently often), I tore the healing flesh open again. Late in the summer, my brother and I were playing kickball at my grandmother’s house. I slid into home (pretty stupid because there were only two players) and again, I blood trickled toward my sock.
My grandmother brought me in, sat me on her counter (which was borderline sinful in her house) and dolloped a blob of liquid Vitamin E on the gash. It was a miracle. Within days the wound healed, leaving a brazen, white patch on the corner of my patella.
Within seconds of injury, our bodies begin to heal. Blood clots, white blood cells attack, clotting occurs. Our bodies naturally heal themselves. Not just our bodies, but our hearts, our spirits, our lives—we are prone to injuries of all sorts. We are equally prone to healing.
These days are marked with hurt and injury, pain and woundedness. They will also be marked with healing and restoration, recovery and relief. We will all bear the scars of these months. They will have great stories to tell.
All of them will speak of our journey to wholeness.
I love you.
I hope for you.
Please be safe.