Earth Day 2014….Be the Bee

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

– Native American Proverb

Today is earth day, and we are celebrating at Fox by turning the lights out and wearing blue and green. I have seen straight lines of little children all day decorated in the colors of the planet walking through the sunlit hallways. Rays of light dance across their faces and cast fantastic shadows on the polished wooden floors. We are lucky to have  building with such large windows that a lights out day is possible.

In art class we are going outside and creating images with chalk that celebrate the earth. I also encouraged them to write catch phrases for the planet, that would make people think. The things that students think to write as messages about the value of the earth are so simple and thoughtful. “Thank you” and “The earth gives you life.”. It isn’t difficult to encourage students to see the value in our planet, they are already thinking about it. It is only one day out of the year that we take time as a whole culture to think about our planet. In reflecting on the idea of “borrowing the earth” from my students, I am imagining these students grown up and looking back on their youth and the way the adults handled the planet while they were too small to have much of a say in how the earth was treated. They have such an un-muddled viewpoint on what we should feel towards the planet. Can many adults say the same? How often do we think about oxygen and where it comes from? Or worry about the melting glaciers? This is the legacy that they inherit from us. I leave you with a quote from Katherine in 3rd grade. “Be the bee.”. She explains to me that it means “some people don’t like bees, because they sting…but they don’t realize that without them, there would be no honey, not for the bears and not for us.”. Be the bee, friends. This earth day, I hope you reflect on the sweetness that the world delivers to you, and that you deliver to the world.

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