Last weekend was Earth Day and my husband celebrated his favorite way by planting trees. He takes reforestation quite seriously and loves saplings of every variety. This year it was spruce. Thankfully we have plenty of room to support his passion.
Earth Day was founded in 1970 by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as a day of environmental education. By 1990 it had spread internationally and it’s now celebrated by nearly 195 countries around the world. These days, unfortunately, it’s also taken on deep ideological and partisan differences—but you can breath easy, we’re not going to get into those futile discussions here. Instead, we’re going to celebrate the beauty of the earth we’ve been given and how it benefits us in so many ways—like nourishing our creativity.
The Ultimate Creator
Creation: The Story, by Worship House Media
Have you ever heard the story of creation? This forceful illustration is taken from the Bible book of Genesis.
Earth, in all its natural beauty and life-giving abundance, is the work of our loving God. He harmonized its plants, animals and people and he did it all from nothing—you can’t get more creative than that, can you? Out of appreciation and honor to this magnificent Creator, how can we not want to protect what he’s made?
This is what Earth Day is all about.
Created for Our Good
The earth’s environment offers us rejuvenation. The Japanese recognize this and practice Shinrin-Yoku, or Forest Bathing, which is the medicine of simply “being in the forest.” It’s thought to be both psychologically and physiologically healing. According to Japanese medical studies, the essential oils that trees emit to protect themselves from germs and insects also bolster our human immune system. Forest bathing has proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, decrease stress, and naturally elevate our moods.
Created for our Creativity
Not only does hiking through the woods improve our mental and physical health, it also shapes our creative minds. Research shows that children use their imaginations more in nature, and the uninterrupted play it offers encourages their problem-solving and intellectual thinking. This means any nature—woods, seashore, city park, our backyards—anywhere we can find the natural earth that God created.
What about us overworked and anxious adults?
In her book The Creativity Cure, Carrie Barron M.D. says, yes, the studies done on children in nature are significant for adults as well. “Nature invites you to leap over logs, smell honeysuckle, jump a puddle, pick up sticks, skim stones, take in a sunrise, ogle a rainbow, or pick a raspberry and pop it in your mouth. It engages your five senses and your imagination as well as your muscles.”
As the river flows, says Barron, so do the ideas.
Celebrate Earth Day Every Day
This year don’t just celebrate Earth Day on April 22; make it your lifestyle all year long. Get out and appreciate the earth God made for us. Study ways to better care for it.
And use it to get creative!