sunrise

A Quiet Sunrise

By Jeanethe Falvey

It doesn’t matter how often I see the sunrise, I can never get enough. An indescribable sense of calm washes over me when I catch one, and I have yet to find something as warm and comforting to start the day.

This past Tuesday morning, I woke to the sound of cars hustling on the highway below my hotel room. As I awoke, I could see the hint of a warm glow beginning on the horizon. As if I’d miss it, I jumped up and walked to the window to take in the scene.

There were quiet houses tucked in between the highway and the beginning of larger government buildings. Looking over the Arlington rooftops and across the Potomac to D.C., a skyline silhouette took shape. Some office lights were already on and it was apparent that those on the road felt that they were already late to work.

Above all the rooftops stood the Washington Monument; much closer, the United States Air Force Memorial was gliding into the sky.

As the sun rose a little higher, it began to reach the walls of the Pentagon. Ever so gently, sunlight made its way into Arlington Cemetery.

It was peaceful. When cannons were fired and the smoke drifted across the trees it came as no surprise. I was not alone in my silence or in my reflection of what had taken place on this day, 11 years ago.

I remembered where I was then, and I was sobered by where circumstances had brought me now. I thought about that morning’s sunrise and all that had changed by that day’s sunset.

For whatever reason, I found some level of peace at the thought that every day since, the sun has risen again. I felt a level of comfort in remembering that, overnight, people changed. We slowed down, helped out, and collectively felt that first new day together.

So this morning came like any other, with the sun reliably cresting the edge of where we can see: waking us up, fueling us to make the world as we wish.

About the author: Jeanethe Falvey writes from EPA’s Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education, as the project-lead for Pick 5 and the State of the Environment, two projects geared towards learning, sharing and gaining a greater collective connection to our environment.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Make your mark for Earth Day

Jeanethe Falvey

Earth Day is April 22, so help make history with Environment in a Day!

Where will your Earth Day defining moment be? In Iowa? American Samoa or Rhode Island? Idaho? Wherever it is, we want to see it! Tell your friends, your family, shout it out through Facebook. This is your chance to share what Earth Day 2012 looks like where you are. One photo from each U.S. state and territory will be featured on a map and image of the moment.

map

Starting the day before and for the following week, EPA’s State of the Environment Flickr project will be taking only one submission from each Flickr member that participates. That means, give it your best shot! To be featured your photo has to be taken on 4.22.12. We’ll be checking the date, so no being sneaky. Besides, where’s the fun in that? You’ll already be out enjoying the glorious day where you and your fellow humans celebrate and take steps to better protect our environment. Take just a moment to share in a picture what the day means to you.

I should also mention a little secret. To be featured, you’ll have a limb up if your photo is cool and creative and that happens by simply having fun!

Will someone on the Maine coast capture the first U.S. sunrise of the day? Who could get the final sunset? Will you be leaping for joy, cleaning up litter by the masses, or hugging (gently) that newly planted tree?

Celebrating outside the U.S.? Fear not! It’s a happy globe day for all Earthlings of course and we haven’t forgotten about you. We invite you to still take part in the project. State of the Environment started out and always will be about the global picture of our single, shared, collective environment. Submit your view of the day too as we’ll continue to feature photos throughout the year and there just might be some kudos in store for you.

Now go on, be sure to spread the word. The last thing we would all want is an empty zone on the map.

EPA’s State of the Environment Group on Flickr

About the author: Jeanethe Falvey writes from EPA’s Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education, as the project-lead for Pick 5 and the State of the Environment, two projects geared towards learning, sharing and gaining a greater collective connection to our environment.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.