Earth Day always reminds me of a very special friend – Lucy, the Library Lady. This year was particularly poignant after attending her retirement party from the library last week.
Lucy and I have been good friends way before either one of us began our present jobs – she at the public library and I at Family Resources.We were young (ish) moms together, raising boys, sharing concerns and laughter, sorting out new ideas and examining old ones, supporting each other.
And even way back then, Lucy modeled a “green life”. She intentionally believed in reducing waste, recycling, re-using and she walked the talk.
Everyone who knows Lucy, as a puppeteer and storyteller, learned from her resourcefulness. Most of Lucy’s puppets were made by her from recycled and re-used materials. Her story times and puppets reflect this ingenious use of creativity and simplicity to capture the imagination and sensibilities of her young audience.
For years, Lucy has developed and staged Earth Day presentations at schools and libraries carrying her strong message of keeping our environment beautiful and clean. Fortunately, she will continue to share her gifts with us. She has retired from the Library but not from entertaining and raising the awareness of both young and old through her wit and wisdom.
As parents, we can make sure our children are “feeling” the environment around them. When children experience real adventures in nature, when they have walked in the rain, splashed in rain puddles, made mud pies, chased after fireflies, walked under the full moon, waded in a rocky stream, searched for 4-leaf-clovers, laid in the grass and looked up at the clouds – then they can understand in their “being” why they should protect earth’s gifts.
Gardening on a small scale with children can be a very positive venture. Planting a garden in a wading pool is perfect for letting your child be the gardener.
Gardens in wagons, (convenient to roll into the sun and for watering) old shoes, coffee cans, baskets, be creative. Pumpkins are my favorite. Start seedlings now in your house in egg cartons. Children will love to help with this. Once the baby plant sprouts and grows two sets of leaves, it is officially a seedling and can be transplanted into your outdoor garden.
Gardening with children emphasizes the necessities to live – water, sunlight, air, soil. Appreciation and stewardship will be instilled and memories cherished.
So during this Earth Week 2011, I say thank you to Lucy for her inspiration, her valuable contribution, her friendship to me, to the children and parents of the La Crosse area, and especially to our beautiful earth.
Lucy, earth lady, stay green.