The creeks are running, wildflowers are beginning to bloom, frogs perform their nightly symphony, and the birds are already courting. The essence of spring is hovering all around, teasing us, as another big rainstorm threatens. Nature is a powerful force, one which is most beneficial to all when we work with it rather than against it.
We are so fortunate for all the caring individuals who’ve continued to spend so much of their time and effort to ensure that large swaths of our natural environment are set aside for preservation. Without the forests we couldn’t breathe. When a species goes extinct there’s no getting it back and we shouldn’t pretend to know the consequences of that. Everything on earth is interconnected in ways that our poor, miniscule brains cannot even fathom. And to pretend to know what we cannot possibly understand can create catastrophic and torturous results. Life is too precious to let short-sightedness guide us.
I was fortunate, last summer, to visit Costa Rica and stay for a week in my cousin’s house. In order to get there we had to put the car in four-wheel-drive to make it up the side of the mountain on their two mile long dirt road. Howler monkeys screamed all around us and toucans perched in nearby trees. The surrounding jungle had its own fantastic and unfamiliar sounds. We kayaked through muddy waters and watched spider monkeys clamor out on the branches above us. Sloths were difficult to spot since they slept high in the trees, remaining very still. Iguanas crawled everywhere and brightly colored, poisonous lizards attempted to camouflage themselves on leaves and rocks. As protected habitat, much of this natural world remains.
Having the freedom to travel to other countries is indeed important. It allows us to experience how others live. Otherwise, we can lead ourselves to believe that our own perspective is the one true vision. What feels like fact actually turns out to be opinion. But we can be so easily swayed by someone who sounds more sure of himself than we are. I was substituting at the local high school last week and overheard a group of boys talking about our changing immigration policies. One of them said, “Only the bad ones are being deported, not the good ones. It’ll be alright.”
I was horrified. But, being a lowly sub and having the charge of thirty or so boisterous teenagers, I didn’t step in. Maintaining some form of control and having a list of things to accomplish that hour, didn’t give me much time to spare. I now wonder what I could have said that would have made a difference. I might have asked, “So, who makes the decision regarding the good ones versus bad ones? You? Me?” Our opinions might vastly differ.
I’ve already noticed a shift in how some people view us women. We have come a long way in regards to personal freedoms including the right to vote, own land, wear pants, and make our own decisions about reproducing. Can’t we all, as a caring and supposedly big-brained species, take a step back and look at the broad view? I think we must in order to stop pointing fingers and getting into the “us versus them” mentality. It’s a no-win situation.
We all want a choice. What to eat, how to live, who to marry or not, how to raise our children… We are all created equal. We’re all immigrants in one way or another. We all want our civil liberties and social justices. Let’s take care of one another and not judge someone just because they may seem different. Instead of contributing to the polarization of people, why not embrace each other and work together in order to help our entire planet survive in as healthy a state as possible – for our children and grandchildren, ad infinitum? I think it’s a worthy goal. Don’t you?
Peace is elusive
Flitting as moths to the light
Searching to find
Chasing to catch
It will certainly escape us
Unless we just be it.
Chi Varnado’s memoir, A CANYON TRILOGY: Life Before, During and After the Cedar Fire and her children’s book, The Tale of Broken Tail are available on www.amazon.com. Her collection of essays, Quail Mutterings, can be found on www.chivarnado.com
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