STGorman  Apr.24.2018

Earth Day Clean-up on the OCA

For 7 billion people worldwide, Sunday was officially Earth Day.

For me and 200 others in downtown Yonkers, it was Saturday.

As yet, I have no photos. no video, no audio, no mementos.

(Ed note: See our album on Facebook HERE.

I do have memories, tho', of an urban spring day, hundreds cloistered in a small yard.

I remember people in suits speaking at a lectern, people in sweatshirts listening and clapping. Plastic tables stacked with donated food, cardboard boxes serving up semi-warm coffee, and barrels full of local good will.

The common message was this: We all have a role to play in serving our planet as it has served us for so long. Tho' we gathered as a group, our role was ultimately not as a group, not as an organization, or community, neighborhood, or city. Our mission was to make a contribution as individuals.

And here are Saturday's individuals: A rainbow of colors, a pie chart of economic levels, a New York mash-up of demographic variety. More sizes than a GAP store, more shapes than a geometry class, more age groups than a 'Harry Potter' premiere.

I have no photos, no video, but I recall the scenes:  A child poking a bottle with a mechanical grabber and a grimace, another nearby on his hands and knees, pulling plastic bags out of the switchgrass with his bare hands. I remember someone asking "what's next?" after finishing their small allotment of real estate. I heard a girl ask her mother "where does this stuff come from?" Mom didn't really have an answer.

But I remember everyone smiling....on the trail, off the trail, on the hillsides, in the ravines. Here was unity for a single morning, all compasses pointing to the same North...and NO one was going home until EVERYONE could go home!! 

And I remember that everyone knew that it was important. 

So, some will post photos, videos, their record of the day, their flashback of the event. Pix of pals posing with purpose, photos of families in fantastically oversized work gloves. Sure, I will look at them, maybe even "like" some. But I will defer to my own particular, unwritten transcript of Earth Day in Yonkers 2018, and I will recall how 200+ gave back in their own way.

And I will be reminded of why Mother Earth still likes to keep us around.