So yesterday was the Earth’s birthday — or something — and I feel like I owe Mama Globe a compliment — or something — after a year’s worth of my horrific habits. Here it goes:

“The grass is looking good!”

Alright, actually, the grass isn’t really looking all that good. It’s patchy; it’s dusty; it’s thin — you’re dying. Of course, I personally feel responsible – I haven’t seen any of the other billions of people actively stab you in the back, so I can’t speak for them. I know I’ve tossed out plastic Poland Spring jugs with the rest of the disposal; I’ve left cigarette butts to rot on the ground; I’ve even taken late night leaks on innocent bushes and trees. You can forgive me for all of that, right? In retrospect, those were mistakes. Watching you die now, though, with the awareness that when I approach my seventies I will no longer have the same Mother Earth left to abuse, I’m truly, truly sorry.

When I was born, no one whispered into my ears, “Your home is dying.” I grew up with the illusion that what surrounded me was permanent. At least, my mom, the fleshy one, led me to believe so. My being the only child, so universally and interminably pampered, was a distraction from my environment. What came before me? Why should I care, when there’s Quaker Oats and applesauce to gobble? The Earth is, I assumed, as it was and as it always will be. Thus, I’ll eat, I’ll sip, I’ll breathe, I’ll shit and giggle shits and giggles. Life will go on.

But, life won’t go on, will it? This grass tickling my soles — it won’t always be there to greet my feet. It’ll dry up under the heat of human arrogance – our blind faith in our arbitrary permanence. This blossom, sailing on currents of light breeze, will grow crusty. This bush will shrivel and dry up, like a dream deferred. And me? Well, I will live my last days, I assume, steadily observing the dust pile up until I, too, fall prey to the heat.

I don’t really have a right to lecture — I know who I am, and I know that as hard as I may try, I will continue, continue vomiting up beer cans, sweating out empty water bottles, sneezing unrecycled paper. I don’t want to — I’d think no one does, except for those anonymous shirtless with the rugged indecency to leave piles of their crap scattered on Old Campus. But, life will go on, and then cease. At least, time is permanent, even if we aren’t.

Just know, Mama Globe — if you are literate, that is — my apology, for yesterday and tomorrow, has been registered. Forgive me, for I have littered — and probably will again.