One Sweet World: Part Two
|January 5, 2012||Posted by Jenny Ann Fraser under One Sweet World|
At the end of September, I wrote a post from a newly claimed “portable” and temporary office in the woods 5 minutes walk from where I live. I shared this office with those who came before. Birds, some ducks and 3 deer.
What I didn’t write about was what happened after I had completed that post, though I don’t think a day has gone by since that I don’t think about it and smile.
Later that same day, I returned back to the tiny wooded area with my camera and planted myself on a log for nearly an hour while I shot pictures and video of my three deer friends. After a while, they became less interested in me than I was in them, and they moved past me and out of sight. I decided to head home.
As I walked back in the direction that the three deer had wandered to find the path that takes me back to street level, a large flock of ducks suddenly flew off a portion of riverbank that rises up above me.
All of a sudden, the three deer were barreling straight towards me at top deer speed clearly panicked!
Now, in case you have never had the opportunity to see a deer on the run, I will mention that a friend and I once clocked the speed of a deer on the run when we were driving down the highway and I seem to recall that the deer was running around 60 km per hour, (although according to Ask.com 40 km per hour is their max). And this deer was just enjoying the run, not running for it’s life.
I am relieved to report, that I had the foresight to recognize that having never seen a deer that has been killed or injured due to running into a tree, my safest option would be to stand still. I picked the right option and felt my hair blow back as they ran past me in an effort to get away from the two dogs that were chasing them.
With my heart in my mouth, I ran a few feet into the clearing only to realize that the panicked deer were zig-zagging their way around the clearing with no clear direction in mind making that area less than safe. Deer, might be beautiful, and elegant, but they’re not so much known for their brain power. I understand why so many meet an untimely death on roads and highways.
The two dogs that were causing all of the ruckus however, were having a blast! One was a large Collie, the other, a mid-sized something I’m not familiar with who seemed even more qualified than the Collie to do it’s job as a herder. Instinct had kicked in and they knew somehow that the goal of operation-scare- the-daylights-out-of Jenny, was to chase the deer in a circle to get them back to where they started.
Fortunately, deer are much faster than sheep and they were long-gone before the dogs could cut them off and steer them back in my direction.
I suspect that both dogs, collared, tagged and clearly friendly were owned by the two women who were standing on the street outside the wooded area chatting while their dogs ran in the field. They missed the whole show and I’m pretty sure had no clue as to what had just transpired.
What is interesting to me, is the reactions that I have experienced from others, when I tell this story. Most people are mad at the dog owners for the whole situation and consider them irresponsible for letting their dogs run loose creating the brief minutes of pandemonium.
Being the nature lover that I obviously am, I see it quite differently. These dogs were born with a job, as all creatures are.
I am sure it would be safe to guess, that neither dog had ever seen a sheep in their lifetime, let alone a flock of them. Given the opportunity however, they did exactly what they were made to do with the brilliance that comes from being in ones element.
They got some excellent exercise thanks to owners who understand that dogs need to run to be healthy good dogs. And as a close friend pointed out, while probably finding the whole experience a bit unpleasant, city deer don’t often get an opportunity to run, or to use the flight instincts that they need to protect themselves, as they have few natural predators in their city world.
These dogs had no intention of hurting them, and even if they had, they stood no chance. This, was another fine example of nature at work.
I can never figure out why human beings are so convinced that nature is something that we should control.
Perhaps it is the result of our own fear in the face of the awesomeness that is this Universe, or simply arrogance. Either way it doesn’t work. Nature is the boss and any ideas that we hold to the contrary are dangerously misguided. When nature decides to kick our collective asses, we are about as powerful as ants. In the battle of Man vs. nature, all wins on our part are temporary at best, though more likely illusory. (Imagine a billionaire trying to throw money at a super-cell tornado to stop it in it’s tracks…)
It would be best for all if we made working with nature the priority.
To me, watching the deer run, the dogs utilizing their instincts or the huge bull raccoon who often dared me when I walked down my lane on summer evenings, it seems completely obvious that every creature has it’s own personality and it’s own purpose. I don’t understand why we believe that we’re any different ourselves, or, that we have a better plan.
For all of the brilliance of human creativity, we really cannot compete with the wonder of anything in the Universe from a single-celled amoeba to the largest mammal on earth. We collectively seem to be incapable of comprehending the sheer brilliance of how everything that exists, right down to the cells that make up our own bodies, work together, perfectly. Until we decide to get in the way of course.
When I am wandering my world, connecting with all that I find from the grass, or snow, to the trees to the animal life I encounter, I cannot help but be aware that I am not a separate entity designed to conquer a mechanistic earth. The earth is not a machine that man created, but a living, breathing organism . I, am but a tiny, infinitesimal part of this massive living organism. Infinitely small, but not by any stretch innocuous. I am in fact, incredibly powerful.
I am so powerful, that I can choose to get in a plane, fly to another continent, and have the impact of burning down an entire forest.
I can choose to put money and material possessions ahead of the earth and spend a life-time making decisions that slowly chip away at it’s ability to function, thrive, and sustain itself.
I can choose to hate what the earth offers, from my fellow man to the dirt that I walk on and I can conquer and kill, (either with both word and deed) or, I can choose love and protection.
I can pretend that the earth is my possession, forgetting that it would do better without me. But I cannot live without it.
I am simultaneously infinitely small, and infinitely destructive. Loving and hateful, holy and cruel. I am a healthy cell, and a terminal cancer.
And, when it comes to all of the other seven billion or so human cells that are part of this living organism called earth. I have awesome power there also.
I can use my words to spread ideas that are filled with love and compassion, or bitterness, hatred and violence and everything in between.
I can be part of problems or part of solutions.
With incredible power, comes incredible responsibility and I am responsible,whether I choose to acknowledge it or not.
It would be in some ways easier, not to recognize my power at all. To pretend that what I think, which always leads to what I do, doesn’t matter. But once you have seen something, there is no going back. You cannot “unsee”. You can only lie, and lies have a way of coming to light.
What I cannot do, is figure out all of the answers. I can only do my best to honour and preserve the body that my body needs to survive. And in so doing, I honour myself.