I’ve lived in the Midwest most of my life, so I’m used to the weather fluctuations that we’ve had these last few weeks. One day is warm and sunny, the sky cloudless and inviting. The next day the temperature drops below freezing, and we wake up to six inches of fresh snow. Regardless of the season, I’m constantly in awe of the beauty we experience each day.

One of my favorite things to do is to smoke a joint on my back porch as the sun comes up. The sky begins to lighten, the sun rising as I also elevate. Cannabis helps me feel every aspect of the world around me. I’m more conscious of the light breeze. I feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, a direct contrast to the chill of the dewy grass beneath my feet. I take a few deep breaths, grateful for the mountain air and the reduced traffic of the last month (pretty much the only good thing to come from all of this). I feel the breaths travel within my body, filling my lungs and again, grateful for this air to breathe. Cannabis also seems to slow down my perception of time, allowing you to savor each moment.

Today (April 22) is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a day to celebrate our planet while raising awareness of the effects of pollution and climate change. Normally, we could attend a workshop to learn a sustainable skill or go to a rally to raise awareness for a specific problem that needs addressing, but pandemic life is different.

Earth Day is one of the secular holidays that humans can celebrate no matter their race, religion, background or nationality. Like the current global pandemic, Earth Day can bring us together to fight against a common enemy and bring about big changes into the world. How can we celebrate Earth Day while still being a good citizen?

One of the best ways to help the Earth is to simply be conscious of your impact. Slow down and think about how your actions affect the world around you and how you can mitigate your impact on the planet. Life goes by quickly, and it’s difficult to think of the everyday items we use once and throw away. It’s difficult to think about how long we stay in the shower or how often we drive our cars or how much plastic encases fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. By taking inventory of our actions, it makes it easier to figure out which can be substituted for something more sustainable and which cannot.

Cannabis consumption can bring us to this mindset. Is it because this plant comes straight from the Earth? That it’s not manufactured in a lab like pharmaceuticals? Something about cannabis makes me feel more connected to the Earth. The high feels more organic than other substances and it grounds me while also lifting me up. It gives me wings while helping me dig roots. Cannabis makes me want to be a better human to create a better world. It makes me feel as if every day should be Earth Day.