Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Welcome to the 50th Earth Day with author @KimHeadlee

Young woman reading (c) 2015 by khunaspix ID 69719181

Fifty years… wow. I had not realized that Earth Day had begun so long ago, and on a Wednesday too, just like this year.

I wouldn't have even thought about it if not for the fact that my daughter brought it to my attention when she asked me to edit some posts for her new blog, Siren's Call to the Sea.

Fifty years ago, I was in elementary school, and my family had moved to Southern California a few months after the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill that catalyzed the modern environmental movement. Previously, we had lived in coastal areas of Washington, Louisiana, and Florida, where clean air was a given. I don't remember that first Earth Day per se, but I do remember hearing about the oil spill cleanup efforts and being sad for the huge losses of wildlife, and I possess vivid recollections of Smog Alert days, when the air quality was so bad, students were forbidden from running on the school playgrounds during recess.

The last time I visited the LA area was in July 2014, during a medically extended layover on the way back from Australia and Hawaii. I was too busy worrying about my husband's condition to pay close attention to the environment around LAX, but I do recall noting that there didn't seem to be as much smog as I had remembered from my childhood. I hope that my impression was a valid one, and that the air quality has indeed improved.

The perpetual traffic jams were another staple of our 1970s stint in LA, when my parents had to whisk me to swim meets across the length and breadth of Southern California. During this current virus-induced state of global emergency, of course, I expect there to be a whole lot less traffic on the roads of LA and everywhere else, for that matter. I know I don't plan to drive anywhere today.

Some good news amid all the fear and uncertainty: the stay-at-home orders seem to be sparking a resurgence in local wildlife, such as the endangered leatherneck sea turtles of Thailand. If you would like to learn more about our oceans and their inhabitants in a fun, conversational format, I encourage you to follow Siren's Call.

To commemorate this 50th Earth Day, I urge you to take the advice shown us by the woman in this post's photo: grab a book, go on a stroll… and smile. Even if circumstances hinder you from reading or walking, please try to recall the blessings you have been given, however small they might be, and smile.

If you need a book recommendation, well. I can help with that too.

My novel Dawnflight is currently free on Smashwords, and its sequels, Morning's Journey and Raging Sea, are discounted 60%. The related novella The Color of Vengeance is permafree for Kindle, Nook, and all other e-readers. Please scroll the sidebar to view my titles. I invite you to message me on Facebook if you are interested in ordering a signed copy of any of my paperback or hardcover editions. Please rest assured that although I seem to be symptom-free as of this writing, I will be masked and gloved when I package your book for mailing.

Take care out there—of yourself, as well as of our Earth!

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