Today is Earth Day and a new moon. The new moon speaks to me of a new beginning. Every month we get a chance to begin again. Actually every second of every day we get a change to begin again. The new moon is combined with Earth Day. A day, that was created 50 years ago, to encourage us to become more aware of how we walk on this earth. An opportunity to become more conscious of how we impact our environment. This year seems special since many of us are in a pause. Often times we are consumed with the normal activities of a busy life. Today we are living in a slow down which allows for time to be more reflective. There won’t be any big events, this year the slate has been wiped clean and the new moon reminds us of an opportunity for a new beginning. How will be individually and collectively live more intentionally on this planet and with each other. What habits will we change, what will we give up to make a difference. For years I have worked to live more sustainably and more intentionally. It isn’t always easy but I like to believe each little step makes a difference. Last year I decided to switch my husband’s coffee to a local roaster who sources ethically. We have been buying big box coffee that is stamped Fair Trade, but wanted to start using coffee from smaller businesses that know where their beans come from. That was relatively easy and even a bit fun. My other upgrade was to use only fair trade chocolate. This is challenging and inconvenient. Fair Trade chocolate is not as easy to find. I’m talking all chocolate, the candy we buy to the chocolate chips and cocoa we use for baking. The chocolate in cookies and ice cream or the hot cocoa my kids enjoy on a cold evening. Summer is right around the corner which means bonfires and s’mores. There won’t be any Hershey’s chocolate bars around the fire so we will have to get creative. Making this change is inconvenient and not fun, but feels rewarding and worth it. So far my kids have been understanding, not sure how it will work when we are confronted with the outside world. This pause in life is showing me I have to be willing to be uncomfortable or inconvenienced in order to live more harmoniously with the Earth and all her inhabitants. This year we are driving less, doing less and growing (personally and in our garden). We are all being required to give up what was in order to make room for what will be. Spring is all about new birth, rebirth. Nature is there to guide us, to renew us and to inspire us. We just need to take the time to appreciate her beauty. So in honor of Earth Day today I am going to plant some herb seeds and to honor the new beginning of this new moon I am going to pause to envision the world I want to live in and who I want to be when we emerge.