“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”
― Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space 1994
So, what do you do for Earth day? I have to admit, I am put off by many of the projects out there. Eating dyed blue and green cupcakes does not really work for us. Sometimes, I am just a sourpuss about things. In our daily life, we build with recyclables, compost, try hard to bring our own bags, shop local.... but I really wanted to do something special and different.
In searching for a project for our family to do, I stumbled across these printable murals from the wonderful Art Projects for Kids website. We printed one out and spent a morning painting it. While we painted we talked geography, early map making, evolution, mythical creatures, what we thought Earth day's purpose was, and more. It was delightful and sweet.
And I love the final project, that hangs beautifully backlit in our living room window.
We are going to watch this too. It has some of the most moving text out there. And puts it all in perspective.