Few quotes have had as profound an impact on my life as the one that came before me by way of a Peninsula Pulse article on Fish Creek native Helen Schreiber (published Sept. 4, 2015) written by Patti Podgers:
“When she wasn’t guiding visitors through her village, Helen was walking its paths picking up litter and trash,” Podgers wrote. “She earned the nickname ‘the bag lady’ for her efforts. When asked why she picked up garbage, Helen responded, ‘It may not be my trash, but it is my town.’”
How many times Helen’s words have inspired me to stop while out on walks when a stray plastic bottle in the ditch catches my eye. With the approach of Earth Day, I began to reflect more on the words that have passed through my ears and given me pause to consider my impact on my environment and Mother Earth.
Naturally, many of those words came musically. As I celebrate Earth Week out and about in Door County, I’ll let the sound of birds, wind and water be my soundtrack, and the following words be my guide.
“Dragonfly” by Ziggy Marley
Hey Mister Bee the world change but you remain the same
And I wonder how you’ll survive with the environment going down the drain
Hey Miss Dragonfly I see you look at me with your beautiful eyes
You must be wondering what type of creature am I
“Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell
Hey farmer, farmer, put away that DDT now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone
Paved paradise, put up a parking lot
“The 3 R’s” by Jack Johnson
If you’re going to the market to buy some juice
You’ve got to bring your own bags and you learn to reduce your waste
And if your brother or your sister’s got some cool clothes
You could try them on before you buy some more of those
Reuse, we’ve got to learn to reuse
“Mercy Me (The Ecology)” by Marvin Gaye
Oh, mercy, mercy me.
Ah, things ain’t what they used to be.
What about this over crowded land?
How much more abuse from man can she stand?
“Green River” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
I can hear the bullfrog callin’ me.
Wonder if my rope’s still hangin’ to the tree.
Love to kick my feet way down the shallow water,
Shoe fly, dragonfly, get back to your mother
“Mother Nature’s Son” by The Beatles
Find me in my field of grass
Mother Nature’s son
Swaying daisies sing a lazy song beneath the sun