My Special Earth Day Celebration

Very late in the morning on Thursday I looked up at the night sky, swaying to some good tunes with a beer in my hand, friend Jonny by my side when I saw two shooting stars. The first was bright orange and fell from the dark night like an ember from a campfire; slow in both its freefall and its fading. The second was a minute or so later, yellow- almost white- streaming across the night sky as fast as possible- running away from any witnesses I would call.  It is not so often one would see a shooting star in Connecticut, the sky is polluted with industrial lights, domestic lights, and well… pollution (according to my semi-educated guess thanks to my addiction to National Geographic telelvision). I ran inside to my phone to look up if something had been going on. This weekend was the Lyrid Meteor Shower. A few days early, I called it as a prequel to the show, but it gave me an infectious itch for more of nature; nature is all I wanted from that moment on. I sat and I waited, but no more shooting stars graced me with their presence.

_____________________________________________

I sincerely thought Earth Day 2012 was on Friday. I mass texted my small group of good friends exclaiming my impatience to plant something, to be active, to “go green” and maybe stay that way from there on out.

I wanted to buy them all

Now, I had read a decent amount of articles; newspapers, Twitter, Yahoo! News, television commercials, etc., and come to think about it, they all made it extremely clear what date Earth Day actually fell on.

So it is Friday, the sun is shining despite contrary weather forecasts and the texts are flowing. My friend Chris is the first to respond, and he was at my house within 30 minutes.

“I want to plant a tree on Earth Day. It is part of my Life List!” I kept saying over and over, upping my annoying-factor one point with every increase in vocal pitch.

I was truly excited to buy a tree. I do not really know why I had presumed Home Depot would have all the answers, but I envisioned their garden center filled with young, homeless trees just waiting for me to come and save them from home goods wholesale hell. I was hyper at the illusion of saving just one of those baby trees; Maple trees, Dogwoods, Oaks, Pine.

I wanted to really do something worthwhile on Earth Day for the first time. The need was not to fulfill another Life List challenge, but to be with my best friends- digging in the dirt on a beautiful day- to put a tree down where another tree is uprooted somewhere in the world, helpless and at the mercy of big business.

That is me, post tree-quest rampage

All cynicism aside.

There was no euphoric, Twilight-esque meadow of trees waiting to be sold to Earth Day tree huggers like myself. I saw an array of cacti, hanging house plants, carnations, impatiens, daisies and what have you for front yard decor and a vast variety of shrubbery. Like a kid in a candy store without a dime, there I stood confused and on the borderline of a tantrum.

If you are looking for shrubs, go to Home Depot

Perhaps my absence from Home Depot since the age of 5 when I was thrown in the backseat by mommy and daddy was the issue here.

Chris and I made do, we picked up three small blueberry plants (3 for $12!) and named them each, claiming our own and creating a beautiful yet equally strange attachment to the small fruity wonder.

Lilacs that we put in our new gazebo (tent)

Chris bought a gazebo (otherwise known as an overpriced backyard tent) for his patio and we left Home Depot to spend the next 2 hours trying to assemble the damned thing. Our reward? Beer. My friend Sean and boyfriend tagged along for the planting ceremony, as well as Chris’ neighbor who most likely came outside due to our incessant knack for swearing loudly and, well, the huge tent that was now apart of the shared backyard.

We maneuvered around Chris’ backyard trying to find the optimal spot for our blueberry babies. We laughed over everything, broke the 88 cent tulle and laughed some more.

_____________________________________________

Earth Day 2012 was Sunday, April 22nd. It rained and none of my friends were around. Did it matter? Of course not. After the shame of realizing that I had most likely looked unaware on every social media site was over, I found a bit of pride and accomplishment.

This may have been my first year really doing something active on (or around) Earth Day, but it hit me then that I loved getting my hands dirty; I loved smelling the trees, soaking in real, natural sunlight, staring up at the sky, making wishes on shooting stars.

I loved nature all of my life, but I was blinded by things, material things, and the unnecessary dramas of being young that make me feel today as if I had always taken it for granted. Perhaps it is just a part of growing up and realizing what is most important, and that is where we live; where you, me and future generations will all call home. Maybe my house does not have solar panels, and my car does not run on recycled grease, but I am happy with my small contribution.

My Earth Day was Friday, and it changed me for the long run.

Happy Earth Day, every day.
 

Chris (left) and Sean getting their hands and skinny-boy pants dirty

82 thoughts on “My Special Earth Day Celebration

  1. Mikalee Byerman says:

    Beautiful post! The Earth reminded us of its special day yesterday morning at 8 a.m….I live in northern Nevada, where we all heard the “boom” of a meteor breaking up over the Sierra Nevada mountains. SO COOL!!!

  2. shoes says:

    Great post! Earth Day is whatever day you make it and it sounds like you had a great one. I love that you named your blueberry plants by the way. :-)

  3. Reece Fowler says:

    In Britain, there is a “jubilee woods” project, a celebration of the Queen’s diamond jubilee. The plan is to plant 6 million trees in 2012.
    I planted over 70 trees on a friend’s farm for that.

    The scouts (do they have that in America?) are planting several hundred trees for it.

    One million trees were planted in February by the jubilee woods project.

    • Reece Fowler says:

      I should have pointed out I planted pine, larch, oak, elm, hazel and ash trees. All (apart from larch) are native British trees. They were all home grown by me as well!

  4. Constance V. Walden says:

    Earth Worship

    To the earth, they bow down
    with their faces to the ground.

    They fall down on their knees
    before oceans, rocks, and trees;

    And, beneath their feet, the sod,
    they are worshiping as God,

    Demanding men be green
    and serve Mother Earth, the quieen.

    Constance V. Walden
    http://7thandvine.wordpress.com/

  5. engchick23 says:

    Way to go, Sarah! I love that you met your life goal and enjoyed getting interacting with nature. I hope you enjoy many more Earth Days as productive as this one! :D

  6. J Roycroft says:

    I love how you knocked big business – “…to put a tree down where another tree is uprooted somewhere in the world, helpless and at the mercy of big business.” And then you go to Home Depot to buy a tree. By the way, Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement retailer. That would be very big business.
    How many trees would you have to plant to replace all the ones Home Depot took down? I love reading Earth Day posts. You folks crack me up. If I planted a tree for every hypocritical earth day comment I’ve read there wouldn’t be enough room to park my two gas guzzling SUV’s anywhere. Hey, don’t mind me, I love mother earth as much as the next person. In the future try to sound like you really are concerned and think before you write. Then when you grow up you won’t be so embarrassed when you look back at the things you said.
    Otherwise you wrote a pretty good post. Congrats on winning the FP lottery.

  7. Dee says:

    This is a sweet post… love the earth.. embrace the earth.. and you’re so lucky to see and shoot the shooting.. what a timing… that’s great ! what’s your wish ? haha

  8. JL says:

    It’s lovely that something simple can inspire you to go to lengths to celebrate Earth Day! It’s just sad that a lot of people only follow it for the one day, then return to their urban-industrial-polluting lifestyles. )=

  9. keithmassey says:

    I have never celebrated Earth Day before but I think I want to start really acknowledging it from now on. I think it is very important for people to celebrate this day because if we dont take care of the Earth we live on who will. I go to school in Richmond, Va and i saw that they have a huge gathering to celebrate Earth Day every year downtown. I missed it this year but I will make sure I catch it next year.

  10. DawnielleC says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I would have to say in taking the time to acknowledge your love for nature and actually planting things on Earth Day you have done more than most who celebrate annually (myself included) do. I would encourage you to disregard the cynical comments some have written, your contribution does really count and you writing about it has inspired many many people, I am sure. Congratulations on making to to the WP front page!

  11. shalady says:

    If you ever want to really get your hands dirty and are looking for some great landscape/country to explore, come on down to my neck of the woods. Happy Earth Day everyday!

  12. SexyTofu says:

    Freshly pressed!!! We were JUST talking about this. See baby girl, ask and you shall receive! You give to the earth, earth gives to you….ah sorry for the crunchy babble. Also I am adoring the image of you standing in Home Depot looking for a tree all overwhelmed and on the border of “a tantrum.” Diggin you as always. TOUGH MUDDER this weekend!

    • J Roycroft says:

      Yep…standing in the Home depot parking lot, the worlds largest home improvement store. Big ass business that does so much damage to the earth. How many trees did Home Depot chop down so that earth loving Sarah could purchase her one little tree? This stuff cracks me up!

      • sarah On The Go says:

        Well, someone is a bitter old man! First, if you actually read the post correctly, you will have seen that I could NOT find a tree at the world’s largest home improvement store, so I opted for the blueberry plant. Now now, whether this earth-loving gal bought her “one little tree” at Home Depot or at the mom and pop nature store down the road, would it make a difference. At the end of the day, both places are selling trees for profit, and both trees need a home. Stay off my blog with your negativity. It’s all love here!

  13. millayt says:

    Love Earth Day and planting trees! We try to plant a few each year…especially fruit trees. We love our peach trees, along with our apple, pear, apricot, cherry, plum, and nectarine trees…see what you can do, if you are old…? Blueberries are a good start. You might have to go to a real nursery to get a tree…Fedco Seeds of Maine has been our “Maine” source of trees. They have a annual sale the first weekend of May of just these things. Check out our blog and cherry trees at:
    http://millayt.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/cherry-blossom-time-in-japan/

    Congratulations on being Freshly pressed.

  14. Cherszy says:

    Oh cool! You planted a tree! I’ve always wanted to do that (next to hugging a really fat tree of course), but I’ve never found the time. Maybe one of these days – I’ll hug a tree and plant one beside it.

    Anyway, Happy Earth Day! :) I hope everyday can be Earth Day ‘coz it seems like everybody only remembers to care for nature when it’s Earth Day. I hope everybody cares for the Earth everyday. :) But, I commend you for your effort on reminding your friends. Wee!

  15. Turn Around and Swim Life | Lessons| Laughter | Love says:

    I totally had the I need to plant a tree urge too! Part if it was fueled by my do good for the earth feelings and the other was a result of having three little boys who love nature and mud. I know it is against blog protocol to refer you to my site but you might appreciate my post about our process of planting a tree. It is the Kid Tested, Lorax Approved post. Anyway, Happy Earth Month!

  16. Chana says:

    Great blog, it’s very visually appealing. For every post I read, I like to take at least ONE thing away:

    and that is everyday, have at least 2hrs of hands-free from the keyboard, remote, cell, Ipad, I-this I-that…. Instead get your hands dirty, ANY activity/hobby… CREATE something just get productive.

    I can’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful day. Thanks for sharing!

  17. DamianKilpin says:

    Hi! Great post, I’m still very new to blogging and so this was quite an inspirational read for me. Its really good to hear that your making a big effort for earth day! 😃😘

  18. Sunelly_Sims says:

    Hi Sarah,
    great post! I like your style (so dynamic & so humorous) – writing articles must be your passion (so many words; hat off!). I find your blogposts interesting (so many different themes; wow!) – how do you do it …? I look forward to reading more from you on your blog! And yes, I will follow …

    Greetings from Germany,
    Sunelly Sims

  19. m88 says:

    When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify mme
    when new comments are added- checkbox and from now onn every time a comment is added
    I receive 4 emaiils with the exact same comment. There has to
    be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!

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