Earth Day always makes me think of my Great Aunt Sister Agnes Norris and our last conversation.
I had driven my family out to Kentucky to visit her and we stayed at the the Sisters of Charity’s Mother House in Louisville.
One of the highlights, or maybe lowlights, of the trip occurred when an announcement was made over the loudspeaker “Whomever took Sister Mary Angela’s wheelchair, please return it” and I then saw my two boys racing with it up the hallway. But after reprimands all the way around, the Sisters let us continue our stay there.
On the morning of our departure as I was saying goodbye to Sister, it was a little akward as she wasn’t into hugs and sentimental goodbyes. I looked around the community room where we were standing and saw a flyer on their bulletin board advertising an upcoming “Save the Earth Day” event. I jokingly suggested to Sister that she should plan on attending it. She looked the flyer over, shook her head and said “Darndest thing I’ve ever heard of. Seems to me that the earth has been doing alright for itself all these years; what people really need to worry about is saving themselves. The planet will be fine.” And with that we said goodbye.
Check out Frank Blair’s take on the first earth Day celebration in 1970.