Makȟá. Earth. Makočé. Land. Kinship. Family. The interdependence and connectedness of all things. That there was a need to name a day Earth Day makes me hauntingly sad. Every day, life goes on, and people walk over thicknesses of concrete, asphalt, spend days inside more concrete, lock themselves in steel when they are outside. It can be easy to forget how much you are a part of the earth. It can be easy to want more, always more. More to make your life easier, convenient, what you think is better. Poverty can grind people down so much they see nothing but blackness and pain. And in it all, we are both the driving force and blind eyes that allow those who are powerful to destroy the earth which gives us life. To destroy all life which is not that of humans, and if some humans get caught up in that destruction, so what? This is a day of terrible sadness, all the more so because it’s just one of “those days” to most people. It doesn’t mean anything, just as the earth doesn’t mean anything.
“The life of the earth is waning,” warns Duane Yazzie, president of the Shiprock Chapter of the Navajo Nation.
Yes, it is. One piece at a time.