These words were written by poet Warsan Shire:

“later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered 
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.”

This poem resurfaces in my mind’s catalog every now and then, usually in the wake of seeing some soul-crippling image of a sea creature becoming a prisoner of plastic, or driving into a big city and seeing the black cloud, literally and figuratively, fit snug like a soot crown above such brilliance and devastation. It seems for every one step forward, there are countless steps of retreat. However, there is peace of mind in the power of one. 

Years ago, I started thinking more about my effect on the environment without letting the global issue smother my small, seemingly insignificant efforts. Reusing bottles, carpooling to work with my husband, and using as much locally sourced products as possible were tiny changes that were never fit for a prime time news segment but to me, they were the girth of my ability at the time. And it was enough. Until I can do more.

Mother Nature has no use for the right time and she definitely doesn’t need you to be perfect. She just needs you to listen and do, listen and do, listen and do. 

 

ON THE COVER:

A spiny leaf bug crawls with curiosity at the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium. Photography Pamela Dunn-Parrish