Walk Lightly On Mother Earth
By Janice Kimball
My former husband and I rented a Fiat and toured Europe. At a pensione in Austria, the owner became excited when he learned we were from Chicago. His brother, he said, had been there and stood on a pedestrian walkway over the multi-lane highway that came into the city. He reported the cars below were lined bumper to bumper, and that each contained only one person. “Could that be true?” he asked us.
Between the main highway and the cobblestone service drive where we live, is a median with a line of palm trees and some grass. The head of the family next door spends his days in the dry season watering to keep it green. He does this in order to occupy his time as there is not enough work in our village to keep all able bodied men employed. The water runs eight hours a day, often from sprinklers in the scorching sun, but my neighbors take great pride in the greenness of our median. I sponsor a monthly camp fire and cook out for this family to thank them for our green median, and I recently bought new hose connections; but I wonder as I watch that water being squandered… when that water is evaporated, is it gone forever? Is it recycled and given back to us as rain?
We need to begin asking ourselves questions. What about all those empty pockets from mining and drilling that we are creating under the earth’s crust? Do they ever fill up, and with what? Will they cause more problems? These may seem like silly questions, but they are not. What the earth gives us is not inexhaustible. We need to think of ourselves as caretakers of the earth if humanity is to survive
As for myself, I am becoming more aware of my footprint. I realize that it is not right to take that much more than my share. I have given serious thought to what I can do to lessen my footprint. I am even beginning to control my bad habit of pushing on the gas pedal when I am driving, followed by the necessity of applying the brakes, a wasteful maneuver. Change begins with awareness. Each person makes a footprint on the earth, how deep is yours? We need to learn how to walk just a little bit lighter on our mother Earth.