Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
Not merely America, but the world looks fabulous now that we can see it clearly. It isn’t smothered in smog. The rivers and oceans are much cleaner. The skies are a glorious blue. The hole in the ozone layer is quietly closing. I’m not sure we’ve ever wished for a result like this—at least not as fervently as we wished for more STUFF. Accidentally almost, the Earth is thriving more than people are.
Even if you’re not an environmentalist, you’re taken aback. We can see what we’ve traded for our conveniences. The damage we inflict daily is obvious. Some will say it’s inevitable. Some will say it’s time we measure the cost versus what we get in return.
Last week I repeated an oceanographer’s observation that Nature hates excess. Too much of anything endangers everything, so Nature has ways to trim whatever is overflowing. People didn’t have any hulking, hairy predators. We had only our own kind to fear. Is it a coincidence that more people have lost their sense of serving the greater good? More are murdered, starved, abused? More of the workers are trampled beneath the greed of the rich. But perhaps that death toll was still too small, so Nature brought in a reliable predator—a new virus.
The COVID-19 virus isn’t terribly fussy about who its victims are. It targets the aged and the weakened, of course, but it also takes out young people. It feeds on the ignorant who refuse to believe information about how viruses work, but it also feeds on the well-educated who were trying to make a difference. It gorges on crowds because they dared to think they were immune. It’s a predator we’re forced to respect…until we discover a way to control it. And then we’ll exercise our power again. We’ll indulge our whims and flip off anyone who reminds us we’re only creatures, after all. We’ll rearrange the surface of the Earth to suit our hunger…until the next predator arrives.
I suppose if I have a point, it is that as the human population of the Earth, we have forgotten what more “primitive” peoples know well. We are guests upon the planet. The planet doesn’t need us in order for the planet to continue its life span. In fact, Nature may be growing weary of having us upsetting the beautiful balances the remainder of the Earth and its life forms labor to sustain. Nature has many tools. Perhaps our next predator will come in the form of flood or volcanic eruption or asteroid from outer space. Perhaps my point is we need to take this time when we’ve been forced to slow down to look around. See what’s truly important. See what we could easily do without. Should we? Do we have to use everything we CAN use—just because it’s there?
Maybe it’s time to celebrate all we are in this moment—without hair dye and body wraps. We will one day be shards of bone in the ground. But in this moment, we’re bathed in the goodness of others. We can see who truly sustains us and who merely seizes our assets. We can see that we don’t have to have someone to watch for entertainment. We’re here to experience and learn for ourselves. We don’t have to have huge vistas. Our yards are crammed with tiny wonders. We don’t have to yearn for mythical heroes with superpowers. We have heroes around us. I’m home. I’m safe. And I’m in love with the Earth.