The Human Spirit: The First Earth Day By Dambra Sabato
+ The first Earth Day was celebrated in a garden in the Mesopotamian plateau 4.5 billion years ago. The Landlord took a chance on a new young couple, entrusting them the care of the place. They called it Eden. Later, it would have a number of names, including the Blue Planet, Gaia, Terra, and “the world”.
Eden has been creating life for 3.7 billion years. Humans, however, appeared only 6 million years ago. The plan was to groom humans to assume stewardship of the garden. They were given brains and thumbs and a sense of caring for their home and one another. And, although 6 million years is only a blink of an eye for the Infinite, it seemed an eternity for them to learn essential life lessons. The humans so frustrated the Landlord, the property was placed under the care of Mother Earth. She had a nurturing spirit, tending mountains, rivers, flowers, vistas, rainbows, all the wonders of nature. She also had low tolerance toward those who abused her bounty. She reprimanded in fire, flood, hurricane and tornado, volcano, earthquake, and letting loose the deep-earth viruses and plagues that wipe the slate clean and give way to new life. The newest weapon in her arsenal is our very own global warming. It has tremendous potential to foster another reboot of the human species.
We are not the first ‘evolved species’ of homo sapien. Scientific advancements, like ‘ground penetrating radar’ and ‘lidar’, allow high-resolution data from structures and objects buried deep below the surface of the earth. These have led to startling discoveries of cityscapes and artifacts pre-dating anything unearthed thus far. These reveal civilizations that rivaled our own, socially and technologically. Yet they lie interred in time, covered by the sands of their ambitions. The legend of Atlantis tells of a highly-developed society that brought about it’s own demise by disconnecting from the natural world, denying the repercussions of their misguided actions and an arrogant ‘because we can we will’ mentality. Whether or not the legend is true, is irrelevant. The warning is.
Founded in 1970 as a day to educate and raise global awareness about environmental issues and the need for conservation, Earth Day is now celebrated on April 22 every year by 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. It is recognized as the largest civic event in the world.
We seem to take the day to celebrate, not rectify. Earth Day gets great sentiment but very little service. We deny the damage we are doing, still. We are guests here. Just because we were invited, doesn’t mean we won’t be evicted.
Let us keep in mind, we have no need to save the planet. Since the beginning, Mother Earth has been self-preserving, able to flood, freeze, collapse, burn and bury its impurities. She will continue to purge, plant and populate for eons to come. The planet isn’t going anywhere…we are.
Dambra Sabato works in the arts as a writer, director, producer, performer, teacher and consultant. He is Founder & Artistic Director of A Saturday’s Child, an arts an entertainment company that produces original works, special events and educational programs. His written works include plays, essays, fables, short stories and curriculum for his arts courses.