Happy Earth Day! Our beautiful planet is full of amazing natural wonders, from waterfalls and canyons to mountains and glaciers, from oceans to deserts and rivers to rainforests. There are some truly marvelous man-made treasures out there, but nothing than man can do will ever top what nature has given us. I was always taught that nature is a gift from God, and we as people have to respect and revere it. In today’s world especially, that is easier said than done.
So many people think of the earth as something that is there to serve them. What can I get out of this land? Or this tree? Can I farm it? Chop it down and build with it? The earth has so many resources to offer us, but if we abuse them they will all be gone before our children and grandchildren have a chance to enjoy them. We need to strike a balance, learning how to work with the earth and use the gifts she gives us without wasting them away or ruining them.
I have always felt comfortable in the outdoors, surrounded by trees, plants, and flowers. Camping and hiking are two of my favorite pastimes for this reason. I feel more at peace and closer to God. I feel serene and calm. Nobody built these things- there were no blueprints to help carve the mountains, no map for the river to follow. They just sprouted, all on their own, and they are beautiful just the way they are. Maybe society, in this culture of body shaming and unrealistic expectations, can take a hint from nature’s children. The dry desert is just as stunning as the lush rainforest. The mountaintop is just as majestic as the reefs of the ocean floor. Their differences make them beautiful, their imperfections make them unique.
I consider myself truly blessed to have visited so many beautiful natural wonders. In addition to remarkable spots around the globe, I have visited nine of the over 50 American national parks. Someday, I hope to see them all. I enjoy big cities, quaint towns, manmade monuments, and ancient artifacts, but nature is my favorite thing to see when I travel. So Happy Earth Day to the most wonderful, beautiful, majestic, magnificent earth I know!