Posts Tagged: earth day

mr. rabbit shows up on earth day

Today, in honour of Earth Day, I go for a walk and spend some time mostly in the Toronto Music Garden near my home.  It's gratifying to find the place coming alive in every corner.  And I hate to think that we have snow forecasted for the next few days. 

No, I'm not kidding.  April Fools Day was 22 days ago.  But nature isn't as delicate as you might think either.  I'm sure it'll be okay in the end.

When I get to the Music Garden, the first thing that greets me is pink.  I'm reminded of a book we enjoyed when my kids were small:

Mr Rabbit and the Lovely PresentIn that book, a girl is looking for a gift for her mother.  Mr. Rabbit helps her, in his indirect way, and in the end she gives her mother a most beautiful birthday gift of colour, which she found in nature.

Yeah, I thought of that book today.


image from



image from



image from



image from



image from


Happy Earth Day.  Whatever season you're in, I hope you're noticing the colour around you.


green pop bottle thought process

It’s a sparkling April morning and I’m watching some city road workers replacing the water lines along Victoria Park Avenue.  I like to watch road workers and construction workers on the job; always with a little bit of envy for their physical work, and admiration for the progress they make in what look to me like impossibly large tasks.  These weeks I’ve admired the simplicity of the technology and the relative swiftness with which these giant water lines seem to disappear into the long, narrow holes subsequently filled in a progressive path down the street.  And I think about the massive infrastructure that lies beneath this large city and all the generations of workers who have pieced it together over time.

At one spot, a worker is operating a small CAT loader, shoving, spreading and lifting loads of dirt and gravel into a backhoe.  Two workers are standing ready with shovels, watching the precision with which the two machines interact.  I notice a green pop bottle glinting atop the dirt.  The workers and I watch the bottle get tossed about by the actions of the loader – dragged here, flipped there, like it’s performing some kind of dance at the whim of the machine operator. 

As I speculate whether one of the workers will eventually pick it up and toss it back into the recycle bin sitting on a lawn a few feet away, the bottle disappears.  Buried in an instant the green pop bottle is committed to the ground along with the water pipe for all of posterity.  I wonder if the workers are thinking about that pop bottle, standing there with their shovels and hard hats, cigarettes in their mouths. 

As I continue on my way I wonder why I feel compelled to write this encounter down.  How could there possibly be a story in a green pop bottle?  But then I remember – it’s Earth Day.

So I imagine workers in other centuries, committing items to the ground without any mind to some anthropologist encountering them a thousand years hence.  I get thinking about the ancient relics I love to look at in galleries and museums, and I wonder:  a thousand years from now will they be able to find the relics of our time amidst the masses of green pop bottles and other 20th/21st century flotsam and jetsam?  Are green pop bottles the relics that will tell stories about us? 

On this Earth Day, I’m imagining some anthropologists a thousand years on, and thinking they will determine us to be a people who had eschewed beauty and craft altogether, and best they keep us and our relics buried and manage as best they can the damage to their resources our waste has caused.