When I was in college, I did a series of lessons called “the pollution solution” with a 2nd grade class. We did science projects, read books, and wrote about the pollution of water, land and air. For the last lesson, I drew the human body. I pointed to the lungs and asked if the earth were a body, what would the lungs represent? They knew it was the air. We revisited health lessons and talked about how smoking is bad for our lungs and it made sense that pollution in the air is bad for the earth. Next I pointed to the blood vessels. The kids knew that the blood in our bodies represented the water on the earth’s body and our skin represented the earth’s surfaces. We talked more about making healthy choices, both for our own bodies and for the earth’s body.

When I pointed to the brain, the kids were stumped. We had only talked about water, earth and air which were easily correlated. I told them the brain represents people on the earth’s body. We are responsible both for keeping our bodies healthy and our earth healthy. It seemed like an aha moment for the kids.

I believe we are a part of a greater system. And while nobody makes healthy choices 100% of the time (for our own bodies or for the body of earth), I think most people want to be healthy and live a long life. I am not advocating perfection for myself or for anyone else. I’m just hoping to do better.

My walks are meditation, prayer, church for me. I connect with the natural world and give thanks for all that is given to me. I'm grateful not just for my basic needs like food and shelter (and warmth), but also for peace, beauty, and inspiration. And while I can’t imagine being the duck that thought this was far enough south to be waddling in the freezing river, I’m happy for the diversity in everything. It keeps me thinking and learning and growing.