Thank you. Truly.
The poet says, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways . . .
Every day you simply awe me. As I travel the globe for my work, I am struck by the beauty of mangroves in Singapore, colors of tulips gracing fields in the Netherlands, the southern red bishop sitting on tall grass by a pond in Johannesburg, and waves crashing near my home in Southern California. Even the storms of snow and rain, unexpected and of surprising fury, astound me. What kind of valentine can I offer in return for a sunset off Waikiki?
A gift of any sort of flower, candy, or card would originate from your soil and is already yours.
Perhaps the only valentine I can offer is the knowledge that every choice I make can be an act of kindness to you, this Earth of ours. I can value your streams by showing care in how I conserve water. I can be aware of what goes into growing that juicy tomato and ear of corn. I can recognize that your natural resources are precious, and when we take them for granted, we put your—and our—future at risk. And I can value our children, honoring that they too have an essential role in protecting and caring for this mother of ours.
So this valentine is my heartfelt expression of appreciation, and my heartfelt desire to act now: to pay more attention to all you do and provide, to do what I can to protect the vistas and colors and majesty of our exquisite planet, our home!
Share your own valentine to Mother Earth in the comments.
Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A., is an international service learning and education consultant and a former classroom teacher. She presents at conferences around the world and works with state departments of education, university faculty and students, school districts, and classroom teachers on a variety of education issues such as service learning, civic responsibility, student leadership, and respectful school communities.
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