Earth Day is a time to celebrate the planet we share and to put into practice the things that will care for it. Seeing the pattern of carbon extruded into the air from Asia, the global warming trends, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and human-caused impacts on our environment is daunting. But the eternal optimist in me says that if our thought patterns change about our responsibility for it, one person at a time, we will make a difference. Once our community leaders understand this, our state and country leaders will understand this. Then perhaps real change is possible.
In honor of my planet and my commitment to be less dependent on imported foods, I started another garden bed outside my kitchen door on Earth Day. Yes, it's a small one and no, it might not change the world. But, growing some of my own food has changed ME. Caring for my garden means I am focusing less on my troubles of the day and instead invest that energy positively. I can feed my friends and family and know the care that I've imparted to my garden plants will provide nutrition and sustenance for the people I care about. Trying to grow the plants organically means that I am much more in tune with the cycle of life in my garden. I am willing to share some of them with the critters that come to visit (tho' not slugs ... slugs that carry rat lung disease is serious business here).
I am a botanist by training and an endangered species botanist by career and I am continually fascinated by plants so sometimes I just stare and admire my garden and nature just outside my door. Native birds sing outside, a native rain forest surrounds my home, and my garden plants thrive in the whatever light that shines through the hapu`u (tree ferns). When I take a moment to appreciate it all, my heart swells and I feel immense gratitude for my garden, for my forest, for my island and state, for my country, and for my planet and the people on it. So no, a tiny garden bed in tiny Volcano Village won't change the world but despite that I'd say, my tiny garden results in very, very good changes indeed.