Recently I took part in the #LaredoEarthDay challenge for the week leading up to Earth Day 2020. My friend Marilyn made a template of activities to do each day and the best part about it was seeing the interaction it created. People shared their gardens, composting, ways to reuse items–frankly, I wish it was Earth Day all year. (In this day and age, it really should be.) I also shared a drink recipe for Backyard Mojitos which I put up on The Tasting Spoon. Limiting single-use plastics is the one perfect place to start. Here, watch this horrifying video and see what happens.
So all this Earthly love got me thinking of my favorite Earth Day jams. The first is this classic: Raffi’s Evergreen Everblue.
At this point in time
it’s up to me, it’s up to you
(Help this planet Earth)
Listening to this cassette on my front-loading Walkman that had a belt clip in the back, I felt like the most environmentally-conscious 7-year-old in Laredo. And that was powerful. (I think the power comes from the choir.) I only knew Raffi from his live VHS tapes where he sang Baby Beluga to toddlers so the mature sounds of Raffi’s professionally-mixed studio guitar made me envision thinning forests and dying oceans. The amazing album art where his face is the sky and his beard is trees gave me visuals to gaze into and see the world inside. Anyway, I was a firm believer in turning off the water while I brushed my teeth. No joke, I would go around my neighborhood stuffing littered paper and spent cigarette butts into a strawberry NesQuik container.
As I’ve matured, so has my taste in music. (Though Raffi will always be a banger in my heart. I’m literally jamming it as I type this.) But now, I’m able to make more of an impact on the environment by helping my children understand their carbon footprints.
From the moment I saw Marina had released Handmade Heaven from Fear + Love, I was taken. This time I didn’t need to dive into photoshopped beard hair to use my imagination and envision the Earth at my fingertips because she provided a music video and I watched it on Youtube. And it’s not just the visuals, but the poetry in this song that speaks.
She speaks of how plants and animals naturally understand their place and purpose on the Earth while we humans are still searching.
I carry along a feel of unease I want to belong like the birds in the trees
I sit on my own, look over the town The skyscrapers grow like they’ll never fall down
In this verse, Marina sitting atop a building that may never dissolve back into the earth is compared to the earthly equivalent of a bird in a tree. A free being among its biodegradable counterpart–the opposite of what it means to be a wasteful human in our concrete jungles. The images of her in blank, white snow and blossoming flowers overlaid are striking.
This Earth Day, I felt closer to my fellow Instagrammers than I had in a long time thanks to our shared appreciation for the planet we live on. We can make this happen again, all year along.
“In some ways we live in a very unnatural world – our brains are constantly trying to adjust and adapt to a lot of social and technological change – and I think that can cause a lot of suffering. So many people have anxiety + the natural world has less of a role in our lives. That’s why this song is important to me. It’s about the sadness of feeling separate from nature. Handmade Heaven is an imagined paradise. The song is also about a connection with people who are on the same wavelength as you – and how special that feels when that happens. 🕊” – MARINA
Originally posted 30 Apr 2020