Peace In A Tin Can

Peace In A Tin Can

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I Do Not Blame The Clouds When It Rains

This is Rocky, the raccoon who terrorized my dog, stalked my nightly bonfire, and destroyed my cooler in search of food.  Upon finding nothing in my cooler but bottled water, Rocky expressed his displeasure by urinating.  In my cooler.

Sally looked so beautiful, sunning herself on the beach, until she took umbrage with my presence and attacked me with the intent of pecking out my eyes.

Let's not forget Sam.  He was delicious!   

The time I spend outdoors is always shared with those who live there full time.  I have learned many lessons during our cohabitation.

 I became friends with Dolly, though she stole my apples and ate them.  She was a sweet girl.

Chipper was a naughty houseguest.  He had no table manners and even though I don't know what happened to him in his past, he had serious boundary issues.

 Woody is a splendid bird, so big and beautiful, and quite stylish in his red hat.  He drills holes in my favorite tree.  Seriously, Woody, there are a hundred trees in my yard; you had to pick this one?

Todd the Turkey Vulture killed my cat.  It's another subject we don't speak of anymore.

I take great pleasure in watching the birds and animals of the woods.  Sometimes these creatures can be a menace.  People will tell me I should chase away the woodpecker, he will ruin my siding.  I should set traps for mice and chipmunks because they dig under my foundation, and the deer should be shot.  It's true that wild animals can cause damage to my home and property, and they have.  But for every infraction a wild creature commits against me, I have committed several more against them.

We cut down trees because they are too close to the house.  We put chemical deterrents around the hostas so the deer don't eat them, and we spray the bees' nest because bees sting.  We pollute the lakes and rivers, we clear land to build more houses, and we are a noisy species.  We forget that all the outdoor creatures are created with a purpose, and an instinct to survive.  In our self-centered world, we think we matter more than they do.  But the animals and their habits are necessary for us to survive.

I do not want to preach about the irresponsibility of humans in a natural world.  No soap box is necessary, I am not joining a cause, and I am not writing a book.  I just want to sit, watch, and enjoy the natural world around me without my friends criticizing me for my fascination with the order and common sense of creatures who don't over think their existence; they all fit somewhere in a cycle of life, death, and propagation.  They each fulfill their purpose.  Can the same be said of people?

I do not lecture my friends on the intricate balance to be found in nature, because I have been taught by the greatest teachers of all that things are what they are.  I watch the timeless dance of predators and prey, it never changes, and all the lecturing I can muster will neither change the way people think, nor will it change their attitude.  So I sit, watch, listen, and learn.  I can't change the way you feel about woodpeckers, any more than I can change the woodpecker's instinct to peck wood.  I can, however, admire the woodpecker's strength and determination, his single-mindedness to his task, and the goal he accomplishes.  I can be inspired.  Being human, I can also hope he chooses a different tree.  I really like that tree.

 I do not blame the clouds when it rains.  When they reach down from the sky and let loose their water, I turn my face to them and let myself be renewed.

I sit, I watch, I listen.  I let Heaven's light shine on me, lead me, and inspire me.  When the creatures do what they do, all is right and good, and I smile at God in thanks.