Illustration by Jaynielyn dela Paz
Ode to Earth
April 22, 2021
We are never taught to love you. Instead, we are born with that love deep within us: with every wish made on a dandelion, every skipped stone across an endless lake, every dewdrop nestled in the morning haze as you house us in the infinite void we call the universe.
Since the dawn of time, you have been our muse. Countless bards ruminate on your marvel. In the presence of your wonder, we are but mere shadows and dust, yet you shower us with a warmth that rivals that of the sun. And the scent of your roses, well, they’re as intoxicating as the moonlight. It’s hard not to be enamoured by your beauty.
Our lives, its noise, are so entangled in the roots of your being. With each breath, you sustain us.
Why are we so hellbent on destroying you? Soon we will be seas apart from the streets that raised us, displaced by a monster of our own creation.
I apologize that we don’t care. We don’t care to give our children a chance at the childhood you gave us, a childhood where we climb trees, breathe air unencumbered by pollutants, and see lush valleys rather than seas of smog.
I apologize that we’re so passive in your destruction. So adamant about trying to convince ourselves that climate change isn’t real when the proof is clearly in front of us. With veins alive, eyes alight, we are overwhelmingly oblivious to this heaven presented before us.
Each generation that you create is an exemplification of your beauty, each mountain an homage to your strength. Yet we squander it, all of it. All of you.
The good in you radiates. Manifested by sunrises, fireflies, and the lone patches of daisies in an asphalt crack. While the bad in us percolates into indigenous lands, melting ice caps, and now uninhabitable ecosystems.
I wonder if the tenderness of the sunset air is your attempt to comfort us in this time of grave urgency. After all, false hope is better than drowning.
Dear Earth, please inhale our chaos and exhale your beauty that we all take for granted.
In the end, as waves sway softly to a gentle percussion, minute wildflowers grow in unkept yards, and sunlight shines on our fragile skin, the melody of Earth is one that we cannot let end.
The Flora, the Fauna, and the Finite
Aasfi Sadeque is a first year Social Sciences student at the University of Toronto.
Jaynielyn dela Paz is currently a third-year student at the University of Toronto studying a degree in Life Sciences. When she’s not studying, she’s busy as a co-owner for an Etsy shop which she produces art for. In her free time, she also loves to draw and write calligraphy.