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Today is the day I wonder how beautiful would this planet be if no humans ever populated it. I’ll never know because there are billions of us. Today is the day that a few of those billions will pick up a garbage bag and set about undoing the imprint that humans have left behind the other 364 days of the year: tires, litter, cast off furniture … Today is the day that I remember that all the other species on the planet GET IT. All the other species live in harmony — in balance. Today is the day that I have hope that if the beavers and bees and bunnys and flowers and fish and fowl GET IT so can we humans.

Rice Creek Fallbrook rs

I swam here as a teenager. Not in the babbling creek but behind the dam that humans had built and many years later had the sense to remove.

beaver woodchuck orf rs

If you look closely, you can see this little guy’s nose. He was swimming with a stick in his mouth up the Oswego River when he spotted me. Instead of diving, he swam closer and checked me out. I guess he liked me because for a ways he swam upstream keeping pace with me as I walked. Until my humanness set in and I had to have more. In trying to get a photo I raced ahead and he dove and disappeared. He was in harmony with the moment I was not.

swan preen Lake N rs

The swan and I chose to be in harmony. I took a few photos from a distance and then walked further up the trail. When I came back I stopped to admire the beauty and grace that was before me. After a few moments of enjoying the peace, I noticed that the swan was staying exactly in line with me. Eating and preening and looking back at me, but always directly in line with me.  The swan was as much at peace with me as I was with him.

These two critters remind me of what I want Earth Day to be — a peaceful coexistence with all life on this planet.

tilting heron Oswego River dam

How will you spend Earth Day today? If my MCS stays in check, I’ll be at the Oswego River picking up garbage. And I’ll be wondering if as a species how we can fly planes and build skyscrapers and harness electricity — why can’t we figure out how to put garbage in a trash can? Any suggestions?

Here’s a TED talk with one suggestion. Since I have a dumb phone, I don’t do apps so I can’t tell you how all this works but I find it interesting.