April 22nd saw the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and although there were millions of us joining the global conversation online, it’s important for the meaningful actions (however small) that make a difference to continue into 2020 and beyond.
We are marking the anniversary as a week (rather than a day) of contemplation - an appreciation of the natural beauty around us. And with Covid-19 reminding us how vulnerable we all are, our immediate surroundings are taking on more significance.
In London, the air is cleaner and skies seem more blue. There are no plane trails marking the horizon and birdsong is loud and clear. I’ve even started researching different bird songs. Morning walks are taking on a whole new meaning, with more time to look down and look up. Little things that make you feel better with a true appreciation of how small we all are in relation to the natural world.
Everyday I’m collecting one or two of my favourite plants, so that I can draw and paint them. The other day I posted one of the pictures of a particular favourite - a dandelion clock and someone pointed out that “dandelions were rather good value as a plant” - and it’s so true! From flowers that provide a splash of sunshine yellow, they transform into the most intricate of seed structures. And they are everywhere at the moment, from road sides to hedgerows.
I think we are all starting to see the extraordinary in the ordinary and for me, the Earth Day continuum is a reminder of how important the little things are. Albert Einstein summarised it perfectly “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better”. Genius.