Earth Day is 39 years old now, perhaps the equivalent of a lightning strike in time compared to the actual age of the one planet we all call home.

Wherever you stand, be the soul for that place. I am unsure whether Rumi meant that place where we are standing right now, or to taking a stance as well. I am fortunate to be standing in a place where the earth’s wild soul can still be readily sensed and experienced. Friends and family living in more crowded, urbanized places remind me nearly daily of the natural gifts Montanans have right outside our door.

I stand in many places-as a Missoulian, a Montanan, an American, a Westerner, an earthling (though my 10-year-old niece thinks that I may be an alien) and a fellow human being. Someone governed by G-8, G.A.T.T., the W.T.O., N.A.F.T.A., C.A.F.T.A. and other international agreements and arrangements.

My stance, though, is global. I am for Earth’s long term health, for protecting, nurturing and restoring natural systems and processes that provide freely and abundantly for all planetary inhabitants. I am for peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation between individuals, families, communities and nations. I am for openness and honesty and integrity, spontaneity and jubilation and irreverence. I am for fully being and living in the now.

I stand for education that allows people to discover, bring forth, nurture and capitalize on their greatest strengths, talents and potential. To be adept at critical thinking, and impassioned to create meaningful employment that enriches people’s lives, while also doing no harm. To step away from being merely consumers, and to step up as fully empowered, competent citizens and stewards of a healthier planet instead. There’s nowhere left to stand if we don’t.

Happy Earth Day.