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Earth Day: 50th Anniversary

The irony is not lost on me. It’s Earth Day and while some of us are less hurried and we can spend more time outdoors, many of us are more cut off from the outdoors than usual. Whatever your circumstances right now, we can pause to acknowledge that 50 years ago, what started as a protest among citizens in the United States to protect the environment, led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act. Two years later came the Clean Water Act and a year after that, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act. In 1990, celebrating the environment on Earth Day went global.

Even if your access to wide open spaces is limited now, hopefully you can still spend a little time today soaking in some natural beauty. May I suggest an activity I share with people on my local, short tour in Albuquerque, New Mexico? If you can only open a window or get to a balcony, you can do this. If you have a backyard, park or wilderness area to go to, even better. Have a seat. Take 15 or 20 minutes and divide it up this way: for the first few minutes, pretend there is a circle around you about 3 feet in diameter (about a meter). Just notice everything that is close to you in the circle; Leaves, dirt, plants, insects appear. It’s quickly becomes a mini-universe. Next, take some time to look at what is beyond that circle, but in the mid-range distance. Not far away. Just the mid-range. In the third step, look in the distance. Focus only on that. If your view is not too distant, you can just look at the sky. Then, finally, with the last few minutes, close your eyes and listen. That’s it. I have no doubt you will discover something you didn’t notice before. And it might be within you.

Terry Lawson Dunn, Founder




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