More Than A Name
I haven’t been able to put together the next post for 21 days at sea, but feel like putting something in the blog tonight. I searched through photos and other Snippet in time type writings. Nothing peaked my interest until I stumbled upon my introduction for a naturalist hike that I led three years ago for the Randolph Mountain Club. It’s a bit soap-box like but was also appreciated at the time. I really enjoyed the stories people in the group had to share about some pretty unusual nature experiences as well. [ please excuse the choppy flow as this was an interactive introduction to our hike.]
More Than A Name
My degree is in sociology and I like to examine the “world” around me through relationships. I believe that every living creatures, plant and animal (or other), came long before we could stand and/or be spiritually created. We may have opposing thumbs and the ability to distinguish right from wrong. But, are we really better than what we see before us? What kind of example or pattern for life and living has humanity brought forth to all living things? I think that the natural world is intrinsically much more than we give credit for. We observe plants and animals showing kindness and then without warning these same plants and animals produce terrible violence.
Some of the most beloved and valuable experiences in my life are rooted in what I refer to little big lives. Bumble Bees swim when it’s hot and sleep under a blossom or leaf when it rains. A single wasp digs a nest from hard-packed dirt a few seconds at a time. Spiders stroll down sidewalks. Birds play and I’ve heard that Moose do too. A chickadee laughs. Squirrels fly. Ants build rafts out of themselves. Flies light up. Bears and Raccoons work together and so on.
Are we really more intelligent and important than all living creatures? Or, are we a part of the whole that is in existence at this moment in time? We were not, we were, we are, we will be and we will not be.
Perhaps, we should take note of how we fit into the grand scheme of things with an open mind. Perhaps, we should humble ourselves and give nature a chance to be our guide and teacher. Slow down, watch, learn, and be attentive. See the portrait of life painted for those who choose to visit.
“It is impossible to look at one kind of plant or animal in its environment without considering the environment generally – a vital consideration in a world increasingly disfigured by industrialization” Ian Tribe from Mushrooms in the Wild.
I’d like to add that in this consideration our consumer disfigurement may completely wipe us out while all other life continues onward.
We went out to see what we could find after our little talk. People assigned themselves to groups that would examine a specific area along the trail via words, sketches, and photographs (whatever tickled their fancy). I wasn’t going to tell them the names or unique facts. The object was for each person to make the discoveries, ask the questions and find the answers.
The choices of assignments were: The ground, shrub and small tree height, larger trees and the sky above. *It was an amazing experience for me to watch these people who already know so much learn how little we all know in an intimate manner.