Sunday, September 2, 2012

It's the Little Things...

As I go about my morning errands or head out to a sketching location, nature always tags along, capturing my attention in a variety of ways, like a stand of trees humming with cicadas, a V of ducks quacking over the bay, or a black swallowtail butterfly skipping over my windshield, catching in the draft before tumbling itself right again to float off in search of whatever he is looking for. I take note of these offerings, writing about them in my sketchbook when I make a stop before I lose the freshness of the feelings they evoke. But I realize I need to pay more attention to the smaller signs of Mother Nature's determination.

As you know by now, I worry about our impact on nature, seeing firsthand the results of pollution, overdevelopment and irresponsibility by humans. Heck, just the sheer number of road kill on my island tells me a lot. I know an opossum that's a victim of a hit and run in the plain light of day, stumbling and falling before dying in my arms while her babies scramble to stay in the pouch, will not impact the species. But it caused a sadness to well up in my heart because we are so desensitized to the suffering of other sentient beings. Thank goodness we have a wonderful veterinarian that takes on the welfare of wildlife and those babies were saved.

But one morning this week, I noticed an exuberance from Mother Nature, a tenaciousness, persistence and steadfastness that renews my hope she will survive despite our best efforts to eradicate all traces of her. This week's sketches are not particularly beautiful nor dramatic. But I do feel they are significant, offering comfort, at least to me, that it's not too late to reach a harmonious balance. Even as I notice plants wedging their way between the cracks in my driveway, I have to marvel at their Olympian feats. Unidentifiable greenery pushes up through the planks of a nearby boardwalk. Emerald leaves decorate the threshold of a friend's garage. At the post office, a greenish, spidery length of flora has made its home dead center in the canary yellow, concrete parking bumper. And at a local establishment, what looks like alien lifeforms draw hieroglyphics across the ceiling. (This is a perfect example of living in the moment, not knowing when you will be swept away with a broom or yanked out by your roots!)

"I believe a blade of grass is no less than the journeywork of the stars."     -  Walt Whitman

FYI : Opossums are not mean, vicious animals. I have an elderly one that lives in my yard, rather sweet actually. Occasionally I will find him in the spring, sunbathing on the driveway behind my car, so I'll carefully relocate him. He looks like he's in a stupor because he's cold and needs to warm up. They will hiss and growl, but rarely bite and do not carry rabies. BUT I have experience handling wild animals. If you find any animal in distress, call animal control for help. But please, don't just walk away.

1 comment:

  1. Owning a 102 year old house is a great lesson in how nature prevails despite manmade attempts to suppress its intrusion!