Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bearth-Day Weekend

Many people know that Sunday, April 22nd is Earth Day. Lesser known amongst the masses is that Saturday, April 21, 2012, marks the 174th birthday of the self labeled "poetico, trampo, geologist, botanist, ornithologist, naturalist [and conservationist]," John Muir.

John Muir circa 1872
Everyone has been impacted by John Muir's conservation efforts no matter the extent of his or her relationship with nature. As Edward Abbey once said, simply knowing that wild spaces still exist gives me great joy - even if I never get to see most of those places.

These words ring very true for me because my relationship with nature is very intimate. But for most people, their relationship with nature is rather dormant. The beauty of nature is that it does not care about one's relationship to it because a piece of every person's heart naturally resides in nature - it's the way we all are.

Therefore, when those who aren't served a regular dose of nature venture out into wild places, they are greeted with open arms. Nature offers them a respite from city life by recharging their souls and awakening their humanness. You see, "when nature surrounds you, when quiet and solitude is the order of the day, it is easier to hear one's deep internal voices." ~Jamie Simons. Then, perhaps it will become possible for one's heart to re-connect and be one with nature.

(Left) Postage Stamp, 1964. (Right) Postage Stamp, 1998
That intimate connection with our natural world provides us with a very nurturing and safe feeling. When people reap the multitude of benefits nature has to offer again and again, I am certain they will want to preserve nature because when we love something, we naturally want to protect it!

While I appreciate the importance of Earth Day, I believe more awareness can be raised if we combine Earth Day with John Muir's birthday to care for our home - Planet Earth - over a weekend celebration. All of us will suffer if our wild places diminish; therefore honoring one of the pioneers of the preservation movement should also be a day everyone in the world acknowledges and celebrates.

John Muir's Birthday + Earth Day = Greater Awareness
Whether you become motivated to consume less energy in your home, drive less or simply go for a hike, make time this weekend to take care of our planet and yourself - there aren't any others like either of them!

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." ~John Muir


  1. I was recently introduced to John Muir in the book 'Wilderness Visionaries'--what a man!

    1. Seth, thank you for your comment. I had never heard of that book until your post. Looking forward to reading it. Happy Trails