Featured Reflection
"Earthrise" by Amanda Gorman



"Earthrise," a poem by Amanda Gorman

On Christmas Eve, 1968, astronaut Bill Anders

Snapped a photo of the earth
As Apollo 8 orbited the moon...

It was our world’s first glance at itself

Our first chance to see a shared reality,

A declared stance and a commonality;

A glimpse into our planet’s mirror,

And as threats drew nearer,

Our own urgency became clearer,

As we realize that we hold nothing dearer

than this floating body we all call home.

Climate change is the single greatest challenge of our time,

Of this, you’re certainly aware.

It’s saddening, but I cannot spare you

From knowing an inconvenient fact, because
It’s getting the facts straight that gets us to act and not to wait.

So I tell you this not to scare you,

But to prepare you, to dare you

To dream a different reality,

Where despite disparities

We all care to protect this world,

This riddled blue marble, this little true marvel

To muster the verve and the nerve

To see how we can serve

Our planet. You don’t need to be a politician

To make it your mission to conserve, to protect,

To preserve that one and only home

That is ours,
To use your unique power

To give next generations the planet they deserve.
We are demonstrating, creating, advocating...

And while this is a training,

in sustaining the future of our planet,

There is no rehearsal. The time is

Now

Now

Now,

the reversal of harm,

And protection of a future so universal

Should be anything but controversial.

So, earth, pale blue dot

We will fail you not...

Just as we chose to go to the moon

We know it’s never too soon

To choose hope.

We choose to do more than cope

With climate change

We choose to end it—

We refuse to lose.

Together we do this and more

Not because it’s very easy or nice

because it is necessary,

Because with every dawn we carry

the weight of the fate of this celestial body orbiting a star.
And as heavy as that weight sounded, it doesn’t hold us down,

But it keeps us grounded, steady, ready,

Because an environmental movement of this size

Is simply another form of an earthrise.

To see it, close your eyes.

Visualize that all of us leaders in this room

and outside of these walls or in the halls, all

of us changemakers are in a spacecraft,

Floating like a silver raft

in space, and we see the face of our planet anew.

We relish the view;

We witness its round green and brilliant blue,

Which inspires us to ask deeply, wholly:

What can we do?

Open your eyes.

Know that the future of

this wise planet

Lies right in sight:

Right in all of us.

Trust this earth uprising.

All of us bring light to exciting solutions never tried before

For it is our hope that implores us, at our uncompromising core,

To keep rising up for an earth more than worth fighting for.


Amanda Gorman, 2018, slightly abridged

Notes

Amanda Gorman, the first Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, got rave reviews for her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” delivered at the Jan. 20 inauguration of now-President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. She is also a compelling climate leader, as a couple dozen Santa Barbara and Ventura climate activists found out when they attended the Los Angeles Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in August 2018. Amanda Gorman shared this inspiring poem from the stage.