Reflections on New Year's Day
Sitting at the window, I am watching the chickadees dart back and forth like magical winged puffs of the Creators breath. The fly so fast, stop, grab a seed from the feeder and then speed off again. I wonder at their ability to move so quickly without seeming to focus on obstacles in their way.
A wise man once told me to look at Nature for lessons. I have found that when we are quiet and simply observe, Nature has many lessons to teach us. The four-legged, winged and finned inhabitants of this plant have so much to give, if we but stop awhile to ponder. Even the trees, bushes and flowers have lessons to share.
Last week, as I walked through the woods at my daughter's new home, I came across this tranquil spot. The woods were silent, but for the occasional bark of the dogs or the distant swish of cars passing along the nearby road. On this beautiful morning, we walked through the woods, our breath streaming behind us in the cold air. My daughter carried our newest grandson in her arms. Max and Prox, our "grand puppies" bounced and leaped through the newly fallen snow, thrilled to be free from the confines of the little house, happy to be dogs in the woods on a frosty morning.
I had stopped to catch my breath when I focused on the spot pictured above. So beautiful, yet so wild and potentially dangerous. Some of the water from the river that cut through the woods was open, but much of it was ice-covered. Hikers, unaware of their surroundings, could step onto what looked like a snowy spot only to crash through into the freezing cold water. I shivered at the thought, focused my camera and shot the picture.
The lesson I learned from this was not so obvious. I reflected on the photo for a bit before realizing what I was seeing and learning. We - the world - is precariously balanced between a state of beauty and a state of decay. There are still beautiful spots like this one found in the wilds of Maine, but there are also areas of our world where the beauty has disappeared into the progressive march of progress.
Sitting with my daughter after our walk, I held my grandson, wondering if, when he was old enough to hold a grandson, would there still be spots like this where beauty can still be found in all its wild and potentially dangerous glory? I pray there will be.
On this first day of our New Year, I pray that politicians, religious and civic leaders, teachers, scientists, inventors, explorers and all of humanity will wake up to the urgent need for reversing the march of progress that destroys and seek to find ways to progress into the future by means of nurturing, healing and renewable methods, which will bless us all.