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Touch the Earth -- "We" are the Environment.
Submitted by Patrick Groneman on Fri, 4/29/2011, 1:02pm
Last Friday IDP Community Members came together to celebrate the close of the first leg of our Building Bridges capital campaign -- a fundraiser aimed at garnering IDP it's very own community center.
Twilight fell upon the lower Manhattan skyscrapers, visible out of the loft windows, as the Baby Soda Jazz Band introduced the evening with foot-stomping good tunes. We ate food donated from local farmers, prepared by community volunteers, and we drank lovingly-mixed libations. We also heard several volunteer leaders speak about the myriad ways that the IDP community is coming together to promote mindfulness and awareness in our own lives, the life of our communities, and the greater society within which we engage.
I had spent most of the week steeped in the logistics for getting the party off the ground and running smoothly, and didn't have very much time during the party to reflect on the significance of Earth Day. So I wanted to take a moment to share it now with you all.
I love the Earth, our environment. Some would call me an environmentalist, and I would call myself one too. I was lucky enough to grow up in a house with a backyard, and spent hours as a child playing in dirt, watching crawling water beetles, smelling the freshly cut grass blades on a misty spring morning. I used to wander around in the woods with my brothers, pretending I was Luke Skywalker, landing on Dagobah, searching for a wise sage.
These experiences of being intimate with other, non-human beings showed me the vastness of the web of life of which we're all a part. This web relies on a very particular atmospheric make-up and soil quality to exist. Our home planet, Earth, is a wonderful place to live.
There are relatively low amounts of toxic gases (sorry venus, jupiter, saturn and neptune), the temperature is great for my mammalian skin (it gets to -225 degrees F on Mars) and oxygen --- MMMM -- makes my body feel good.
So I'm not just an environmentalist because I love wolves and bugs and trees, but I'm also an environmentalist for my own well-being too.
The truth of Interdependence has shown me that "The Environment" is not just made up of trees and rivers and clouds, but it incorporates everything and everyone I experience. I am a part of "your environment" and you are a part of mine. Your appetite affects my food system. The way I sit on the subway affects your ride home. And the way that we all use the resources that Earth provides us affects our collective nourishment and well-being. Yours, and mine.
The Buddha once said:
"You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
And this means that on Earth Day, I don't just celebrate the great Redwoods, or protest to protect the endangered wolves, or support my local community garden, but I also celebrate my own connection, and utter dependence on the entire world which makes up my life and my happiness.
The Environment is not "out there" somewhere. It is not on a map of Grand Teton National Park. The Environment is right here, typing on a computer, touching the Earth with ya'll.
Photos taken by Gala Narezo
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