Today is a day to celebrate the earth and all living things. This morning I heard an interview on NPR radio with ecologist Bryan Pijanowski and bioacoustician Bernie Krause. Both are involved in a new field of biology called ‘soundscape ecology.’ They discussed how by listening to all the sounds within a habitat, researchers can gain information about that ecosystem’s health. I listened to the melodic symphony of a multitude of species interacting in a Madagascar jungle. There was a distinct difference in the sounds from a healthy coral reef in Fiji, and a reef miles away in the process of dying out.
The first Earth Day was born in 1970. It was proposed by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin as an environmental “teach-in” to raise awareness for growing global ecological issues of pollution and deforestation. It was Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, Silent Spring however, that is credited with the beginnings of the environmental movement. The writer/biologist asked us to listen to the sounds of living creatures, or the “silence” in our surroundings. “Even in the vast and mysterious reaches of the sea we are brought back to the fundamental truth nothing lives to itself.”
Today I decided to complete a series of clay “earth” sculptures that were begun last month. It seemed like the perfect Earth Day activity. Clay is a wonderful medium to play with that allows one to feel grounded and connected to our mother earth. I shaped a guide for each of the four elements: earth, air, fire and water. Here are some photos of these friends. Now I will go for a walk and really tune in to the music of my own environment. And I’ll remember to give a silent blessing to the earth that sustains my life here.
Peace in and around me, L