Today we celebrate the Earth. It’s the Earth’s birthday I told my nephews Sam (5) and Boaz (2) this morning. It’s everyone’s birthdays. Sam asked “Also the earthworms’?” And Boaz asked “Also the hedgehogs’?” Yes, also earthworms and hedgehogs’ birthday and also of you and me.

Today we climbed trees to celebrate them: their rootedness, the soil and the birds we hear singing in neighbouring trees. Amongst the fresh hornbeam (Dutch haagbeuk; French charme) leaves while clinging to the branches, we celebrate the spring flowers beneath us, the warmth of the sun, the flow of the water next to the tree and in the soil, the waxing moon we can already see.

Yesterday, we celebrated World Fish Migration Day, being in awe with the small translucent elver, the baby eel (Dutch paling; French anguille), born in Mexico and then swimming 6000km to the Netherlands and then back again.

These migratory fish are challenged by a large dyke (Afsluitdijk) blocking their swimway and flow between the salty ocean to the fresh water lake of the Dutch IJsselmeer (the largest lake of Western Europe). Other challenges they face are habitat destruction and being overfished.

We not only celebrate birth, we also embrace death and dying. As we picked daisies (madelief; marguerite), made and wore a daisies’ necklace, the wilted flowers, after some time, we lay on a piece of paper.

But may there not come an end to birth (how Paul Hawkens refers to it). I wish that my nephews and their grandchildren will still be able to witness wild rhinoceros, bumblebees and migratory fish. Today, we celebrated the joy of playing together amongst all of life’s creatures, we joined the birds’ in song.

Happy Birthday, birthing all life! We’re happy to be part if it.

23/04/2018 – Noord Hollands Dagblad – Li An Phoa – Earth Day

Drinkable Rivers, indicators for Healthy Living. With Drinkable Rivers we will be able to celebrate the birthing of all life for many generations to come and go… Every day, Earth Day.