Earth Day, A List of Praise

I found myself today, on Earth Day, driving five hours east of Seattle over the Cascades, past farms, over the Columbia Gorge, through more farmland and the lovely Palouse to Moscow, Idaho. The sun was shining most of the drive, then rain clouds moved in when we took an after-dinner walk on an edge of a thunder storm past tulips and trees all abloom, and the finale, apparently just thrown in for fun, a full rainbow over my sister's house.

While marking this all this variety and majesty today, I thought about the vast beauty I've had the privilege to witness on this earth. 

A List to Praise the Earth

Walking barefoot in the garden in early morning dew
Quietly stepping into a grove of migrating monarch butterflies resting near Santa Barbara, California
Hiking in the Badlands, South Dakota
Peak fall colors near Quebec
Nesting Black-Browed Albatross in the Falkland Islands
Northern Lights over Denali, Alaska
Diving into a perfectly still Lake Okoboji in Iowa
Trekking Fitzroy, Argentina
Listening to Humpbacks whales breath as I kayak alongside
Assisting a hatchling sea turtle and its siblings in their first run into the ocean in Oaxaca, Mexico
Swimming in Fjords in Greenland
Eating fresh rhubarb pie, picked from my grandmother's garden
First backpacking trip up to Garibaldi Lake in British Columbia with the man who is now my husband
Snorkeling in the Great Barrior Reef
A week-long river rafting trip down the Rogue River in Oregon
Watching the Porcupine Caribou herd migration in the Yukon
Camping in Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite National Parks
Swimming in phosphorescence of Vieques, Puerto Rico
Staring up, up, up at the Sequoias in Muir Woods, California
Watching a lineup of Muskoxen break into a run in Nunavut, Canada
Soaking in Jerry Johnson Hotsprings, Montana in a snowfall with my entire family
Listening to the Loons on a lake in Minnesota
Eating oysters fresh out of the sea in Brittany, France
Eating oysters fresh out of the sea near my home in Washington State
Walking among 50,000 King Penguins on Salisbury Plain on South Georgia Island
Tramping around ferns in Olympic National Park
Taking in the vast sky over the Mongolian Steppe
Listening to Elks bugling in Jasper National Park
Walking at night through a snow-globe snowfall in Big Sky, Montana
Locking eyes with a lynx
Seeing the first magnolia blossom open in my garden.

"This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and island, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."

~ John Muir

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