Monday, September 17, 2012

Join The Club

Join The Club Subconsciously we attach to Nature by subtly expressing our emotions whether in a sleep induced dream state or when awake thinking deeply about life. For how many eons have humans interacted with birds, humming and blue, which had proven attributes long desired by man anchored to this Earth ? Would man ever fly as the birds can fly ? He often tried, always failed. Man has a silent affinity with trees planting huge numbers in our urban areas to soften the landscape with their foliage which air-conditions the vast surrounding space and makes close living possible. He, who plants a tree under which he will not have the pleasure of sitting in its shade, is a man of high moral caliber. Man and trees is a given after all these centuries of co-dependency even to the extent of planting trees as living cathedrals meant to enhance our ceremonial grounds or grand estates. We cordon off large forests from ordinary human activity making them Wilderness Areas accessible to humans only by foot of man or by hoof of horse and mule. Take a look all around you, what do you see, see if you can pick out something, something universal. Do you see the public's infatuation with their lawns and with the foundation plantings around their homes ? It is often stated that our lawns are subconsciously thought of as our spread or our range in miniature. We, thinking back to our roots of the longing desire to be out west riding the fence rows, ride our lawn mowers as if they were horses and we were real cowboys. We tend our shrubbery as if they were beautifully tended rows of vegetables supplying our sustenance. In the not to distant future the need for more gardens will press a consuming public to clammer for many more. In the limited universe seen from my front porch, I get a birds eye view of one of the grandest species migrations taking place on our continent. Monarch Butterflies frequent our patch of butterfly weed during these later days of a disappearing summer. Their ever increasing numbers will continue until gone in one fell swoop as they, unknown to us, join their identical twins to wing south to Mexico in a 2000 mile trip.  Many will scoff at this distance knowing some birds travel four times this distance. What these people don't understand is that the Monarch's are three generations away from making this trip. These butterflies never flew this course in their lifetime, in fact, it was their grand or great grandparents who made the journey north some three years earlier. What imprint has been placed on their DNA, by what, by whom ? From my front porch I find one of the universal grand questions still pondered by intelligent thought: how does migration work ? No, I have no comment on how migration works, but, I realize I am part of the equation seeing I am an avid observer of the whole process. If you too find enjoyment in nature, if you also ponder the unanswered questions, if you, as I often do wondering about things I have little power over, come to the conclusion that life is indeed a mystery - join the club. Ronald C. Downie

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