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Earth Day 2021

—April 16, 2021

When I was a little squirt, I let a rare fart here and there.

“Let”: the word at the time. A fart was a matter of great laughter, sometimes applause, usually a red face. Barking spiders. As time went on, whoopee cushions? Farting contests?

Now, I’m told, it’s normal for an old fart to toot out real wailers time to time, butt-flappers of the room-emptying sort. Or whistling poots. Wicked SBDs persist: don’t go there. Beans, beans, good for the heart…

The farting master blasters are cattle and pigs, fruitful and multiplying along with hungry human populations. Methane aplenty for all, and a hefty brick in the greenhouse.

Earthday.org has decided that “The theme of Earth Day 2021 is Restore Our Earth™.” My slogan “Make Earth Great Again” trumps the trademarked theme, right? Imagine a crowd with green baseball caps with “MEGA” in big white letters. Never mind.

“Plant a tree” has usually been an Earth Day theme in various corners. Arbor Day laid claim to April 10 in 1872: close. In “The Truth About Climate Change”, Sir David Attenborough bragged about the role of reforestation in helping us climb out of the greenhouse problem. (Growing trees in a greenhouse: get it? Bwahahaha…)

Trees have a role in the lives of apes, birds, bugs, and slugs. Trees suck up the very air we cough out and the eructations and flatulations of all beings great and small. Our burps and farts. And the trees fart out the air we breathe: an unusually fair trade.

We have twenty-some trees, most grown from pups, most of them drought-tolerant, some watered as little as every two or three years. Junior Tree, an elm planted in 2012, begs a bit more water than the rest in its young years.

I sometimes think of Junior and the other trees when I cut one on the back porch (a fart, not a tree) and it waftes away in the evening breeze.

Maybe Junior’s standing there thinking (in tree words), “Thank you.”

It’s a bit early in the year for Junior’s budding branches to break wind. The spruces nearby quake in a stiff April breeze. Predicted: winds on and off through Earth Day.

Fresh air.