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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Make Every Day an Earth Day

Mar 31, 2011 01:12PM

After a hectic day, especially one spent in front of a computer screen, nothing rebalances me more surely than a walk in nature. In fact, most of my fondest memories are from times spent in nature, the great healer.

Recently, I enjoyed the opportunity to powwow with kindred spirits around a campfire on the beautiful Happehatchee Center, in Estero, under the Spring Equinox full moon, listening to the music and wise heartfelt council of Native American performers. We had all come together to celebrate our connection and commitment to Mother Earth. The First People on this continent practiced their respect for nature through sustainable stewardship of Earth’s resources; this practical understanding is critical today if we are to pass along a habitable planet to our grandchildren.

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Professor Maria Roca, who helped organize the event, beamed like a proud mother when her students recited principles from the Earth Charter Initiative they are studying in her class (EarthCharterInAction.org). Drafted at the turn of the millennium, The Earth Charter is a worldwide people’s declaration of ethical principles of shared responsibility for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society. FGCU signed on as an affiliate in 2009.

I left the gathering feeling a renewed reverence and connection to Mother Earth and how vital it is for us each to daily take time to connect with nature. If we had met at the FGCU auditorium for the evening’s gathering, I wouldn’t have felt awakened on so many levels.

Nothing can replace being in nature, as our interview with educator and author Richard Louv points out in his new book The Nature Principle. To motivate us, Louv has a message for humankind: “Think not what we can do for nature, but what nature can do for us.” He shows how a nature-infused lifestyle can enhance the quality of our health and relationships, benefiting every facet of our experience. He asserts that the more high-tech our lives become, the more nature we need. The flip side is that the more disconnected we are from nature, the less we take care of it properly.

Earth Day, April 22, arrives as a timely annual reminder of the vital need for us all to be kinder to our planet. No person, nation or continent functions in isolation. Life on Earth comprises an intertwined network of beings, places and experiences and we are increasingly realizing how our actions affect our neighbors around the world.

Throughout this month’s issue, you’ll find plenty of ideas and resources to step up your commitment. Imagine how much healthier our environment would be if everyone made every day Earth Day. Know that with every small change, you are making a difference; we’ll look for you at several of the events listed in our Earth Day Events Calendar; Southwest Florida has much to celebrate and hold dear. Be sure to stop by and say hello.

Make every day an Earth Day,

Sharon Bruckman, Publisher

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