Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Although large celebrations will not be taking place as planned there are some unexpected reasons to celebrate. As people have been forced to pause so have industries that contribute to greenhouse gases, resulting in reports of cleaner air over large cities. Animals are reclaiming lands usually overrun with tourists. Dolphins have been seen in the Venice canals (okay, this one I don't actually think is true but it's such a lovely idea!). None of this erases the immense tragedy of Covid 19. It does, however, show us that pausing can have great power.
This is true for our individual lives as well. Pausing, breathing, seeing the world through new eyes, embracing creativity even once a day, can clear the smog from our brains and let our inner animals roam freely through our minds.
Today's activity gives you a choice. If you can safely leave your house and be somewhere in nature - a park, a yard, a field - please do so. Even for five minutes. Walk slowly, with intention. Breathe deeply. Pause. Notice one thing - something that speaks to you. Smell it. Touch it. Really look at it. Then close your eyes and recreate what you have just experienced. Two or three times throughout the rest of the day, take a moment to close your eyes, pause, and recreate that memory.
If you cannot leave your house, try to do this with something outside your window. A tree across the street, or a bird landed on your windowsill. If this isn't possible, you can use a houseplant, or a pet, or even a picture of a moment in nature. Just do the best you can in this hard time to pause and let in some beauty from the earth.