Earth Day 2017: Adopt-a-Park in Markham
The 22nd of April has been celebrated as Earth Day globally every year since 1970. It is an opportunity for all of us to show our gratitude to nature and Mother Earth. Sathya Sai Baba has always lived the message of reverence and care for Mother Earth.
At the Sathya Sai Centre of Middlefield, we decided to participate in the City of Markham’s Adopt-a-Park program. We took on the challenge of cleaning up Featherstone Park. April 22, 2017 was a bright and beautiful Saturday morning, with a brisk wind that created a cool breeze. The sun could be seen peeking out through the clouds. The swing sets were empty and the green grass fields held fresh morning dew. The greenery was interrupted in areas by some litter that had emerged as the winter had melted away into spring.
A group of Middlefield Sai Centre members, including adults, children, and young adults gathered together to clean Featherstone Park. Parents and children could be seen working together as a team to pick out the garbage that had wrapped itself around the trunks of sturdy trees. The adults and young adults came together to clean the layers of garbage that had accumulated under the bleachers and around the fences of the baseball diamond. Some people were even raking the fallen leaves that had covered the sand of the playground. As the centre members quietly did their work diligently, some neighbours passing through the park took notice.
Featherstone Park is nestled in a row of houses, and many of the people from the surrounding houses came by for morning walks, or to take their children to the playground. One of the neighbours even joined with us and started to clean the park! He said that the next time we do a clean-up, we should inform all the neighbours, as they are very willing and eager to join in. One of the neighbours saw what we were doing and said
God bless you. It felt as though we were receiving a blessing straight from Bhagavan himself! Overall the neighbours were extremely appreciative of our efforts.
When we left the park that morning, though we may have been covered in dirt and sweat, we were on a spiritual high. The words of Sathya Sai Baba rang in our minds:
The five elements – ether, air, fire, water, and earth – are the vesture of God, as well as of man. Use them moderately and with wisdom, with fear and humility. We felt at peace knowing that we left the world a little bit greener than we had found it.