The Day After Earth Day

I’m sitting at the computer with my six week old newborn strapped to my chest, jiggling my legs and making sure the pacifier doesn’t fall from Darwin’s mouth. I was attempting to read the news and check Facebook posts related to yesterday’s Earth Day. Earth Day came and went for us, in a fog of sleep deprivation and Darwin’s gas issues. My only contribution was to sit on the deck at my parent’s house in the sunshine, thanking Mother Nature for a breath of spring while the baby slept in his grandpa’s arms.

As a student in the Environmental Science and Policy program, I came to it full of passion and dedication to contributing as fully as possible to making the planet a better place to live. However, as the later months of pregnancy came on, school work continued, work projects came to fruition, and then the birth of Darwin, I felt guilt about not fully engaging in environmental actions. There were so many things I wanted to participate in, but I simply could not. The world has gone on without me for a while and I look inward to find peace with my inaction. I am in awe of those who tirelessly work on our behalf, they are as much an inspiration as a saints.

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I have struggled to make environmentally friendly choices such as cloth diapering, buying used baby gear, and eating organically. When you are exhausted it is easy to reach for the ┬ásimpler solution just to get through the day. But, I am learning to acknowledge my failure and try again tomorrow for a better choice. As Anne of Green Gables said, “tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.” This is the great lesson of motherhood, tomorrow we will try again and to not give up on those things that are vitally important (even if we do take a break from time to time).

On the day after Earth Day, I give thanks to those individuals who are standing up for Planet Earth while I try to get just a little sleep. Thank you to Sandra Steingraber, environmentalist, mother, and scientist who spent her Earth Day in a New York County jail for her civil disobedience protesting hydrofracking. To my friend Dan Beggren, who’s Adirondack folk music never fails to hit the nail on the head. And, to my classmates who continue to write for this blog and bring forth the news.

Sandra Steingraber on Going Behind Bars to Protest Fracking

Dan Berggren sings his original song “Occupy This Moment”

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