I remember less and less about those days. There aren't a lot of photos. I had a Polaroid camera, can't remember the name but it was one of the first popular, instant picture models. The film was expensive so I didn't take many pictures.
What I remember from Earth Day 1970 is the pledge I took to never litter again. I held by that pledge for over 30 years and haven't littered more than twice since that day. And I remember feeling a great hopeful excitement about the future: the idea that everybody everywhere in the World cared about the same thing just blew my 16-year-old mind.
I was finishing my sophomore year at New Albany High School. The highlight of that year was running away from home in January. I was only gone about a week and I hadn't gone far, just across the river to Louisville KY. My family played it down but it made a splash in my school/social life by diminishing my reputation as a goody-two-shoes, a reputation that had grown cumbersome and restrictive.
That Earth Day is still celebrated 45 years hence is a source of encouragement, sweetening my mostly disheartened expectations for the World. I am viewed as something of an outsider by some people but will apparently never achieve the mysterious, dangerous renegade status I once aspired to.
Earth Day still inspires and energizes me in a way I don't understand and can't explain. Anticipating the day was enough to stir me from sleep this morning and, so far, I'm enjoying a sense of wholeness and well-being today. Wade's birthday is the 25th and, as usual, Earth Day stimulates reflections on the day of his birth....