Blocks away from our house is the brand spankin' new Cascades Park. It is absolutely beautiful, and it has become not only an attraction for our neighborhood that allows us to meet each other on the pathways; it has become a lovely walking trail for many of those working in downtown Tallahassee.
So, imagine my heart sinking when I saw the floating plastic bottles gathered along the bank at one end of the park's man-made lake. And suddenly, I felt myself wanting to cry like the indian in the 1970s ad.
Is it really too much to ask that people put their plastic bottles into a recycling container? If they have bags that are all oily and greasy from food, is it a difficult concept to put the bag into a trash can? I wonder sometimes if people live like this at home. Do they just throw their empties on the floor and figure somebody else will take care of the clean up later?
There are so many issues confronting our planet that are beyond the control of individual people. We, the people, are not able to enforce clean air and water standards, or force companies to comply with environmental regulations that protect habitats for endangered species. We can demand that these things happen, and vote for politicians who share our common concerns. But that's all the big picture. There are things that we can do, right here and now, to make our contribution to caring for our Mother Earth. We can strive to lessen our dependence on cars to get us everywhere. We can change out our lightbulbs to use more energy efficient compact florescents. We can compost coffee grounds, banana and orange peels, and other vegetation.
And, for crying out loud, recycle your plastic, paper and throw away the disposable garbage.
Earth Day Prayer: We see you
God of light and life,
we see you in the rising sun,
the golden fields of new daffodils,
and the feel of a spring shower.
Help us to see your light reflected throughout creation.
God of compassion,
you are there with those people
who are facing the effects of a changing climate,
and are affected by floods, droughts and famine.
Show us how to be there with them too.
God of truth and justice,
you hear those people around the world,
who struggle to make their voices heard.
Open our ears, and the ears of those in power
to hear the cries of those living in poverty.
God of hope,
we see you in people who refuse to give up,
who will not lose faith and keep on fighting,
for your earth and for your people.
Lift us, so that we may never lose hope.
(prayer by Michaela McGuigan and published at foodgrainsbank.ca)