In the roaring wind and blowing snow last night, many of the remaining Red Oak leaves came down. I wondered on my walk home—snow horizontal in weather wonderfully undeniable—what their total weight must be. The natural world dwarfs humans in its sheer immensity. For instance, scientists—people who deal in fact-based research—estimate there are seventy times the weight of insects compared to humans.
And water, one moving drop at time, shapes bedrock. The power at any single moment may not be great, but over time it is immense.
Of course, as small as we are in the scale of life on Earth, we have managed to change the whole Planet dramatically, leaving a wake of destruction—one that includes ourselves. If I could make that sound any less horrible, I’d be tempted if for no other reason than I cringe to think of the children in the next generation who are left to deal with our mess. The seeds we’ve sown have spread far and wide but, unlike Cattail, now bursting open, many of our seeds are not seeds of life.
And, no, I take no comfort in the “end of times” prophecies, as I responded to a reader earlier this week, because last I knew we are all on this Planet together—women, men, Republicans, Democrats, black and white and all of us in between plus all other living creatures, insects and all. We are here together, not with only some of us crossing a line into heaven. I was brought up believing in the holiness of all creation and have done my best to act on those beliefs since.
Clearly there is much at which I’ve failed and much more I need to do. I am strengthened in my resolve not by unsubtantiated prophecy but by what is real and now, what is right in front of me waiting for me to open my eyes and see: blue sky, falling snow, the gift of a bouquet, a Cardinal in the Cedar tree, noisy children coming home from school.