Is COVID-19 distancing giving you a boxed-in feeling? I have a positive suggestion–take a moment the next clear evening to take a look at the night sky. Worldwide industrial shut downs have led to drastically improved air quality and clarity so stars are looking brighter and more numerous than ever. It's heart-stirring to imagine this singular moment and our place in its vastness.
I was a child when the first Earth Day was celebrated 50 years ago this month. I remember a tattered copy of Silent Spring on the coffee table, though it would be 12 years before I read it. Its author, Rachel Carson, became one of my heroes. I'd tell you about her, but I can't do her the justice that Maria Popova does in her Brain Pickings article, The Writing of Silent Spring: Rachel Carson and the Culture-Shifting Courage to Speak Truth to Power. I hope you'll take time to read it, and maybe even Silent Spring, in celebration of our unique and magnificent planet Earth.
As artist and naturalist, thoughts about my place on this planet and in this universe are undercurrent to all my work. I've recently been working on a series of paintings in honor of Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and Earth Day. I've included several on this page. Learn more about my paintings, Sense of Wonder, Among the Beauties and Mysteries, Spring After Winter, and Spring after Winter 2.
Thank you, Earth, and Happy Earth Day! We best remember that every day is your day, so that we may continue ours. Be well, my friends.
A few of my favorite quotes by Rachel Carson–
"Why should we tolerate a diet of weak poisons, a home in insipid surroundings, a circle of acquaintances who are not quite our enemies, the noise of motors with just enough relief to prevent insanity? Who would want to live in a world which is just not quite fatal?"
"There is no drop of water in the ocean, not even in the deepest parts of the abyss, that does not know and respond to the mysterious forces that create the tide."
"Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth, are never alone or weary of life."
"If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life."
"There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter."
Artist and naturalist Michelle Louis has a vigorous curiosity about the natural world. Her abstract landscape paintings cultivate connection to the lands she explores.
©2022 Michelle Louis All rights reserved. Content and images are property of the artist.