Ever walk through nature and stumble upon the UNEXPECTED? Discovery is a thrill I need. Although I’m all grown up, the childlike sense of wonder continues to put a smile on my face. During this tough time across the globe, I decided to visit a local State Park. Of course, the cold blustery weather didn’t let up. Not fun, but something told me to go outside.
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A Cold Purpose of Nature
The overcast skies created the perfect diffuse light for the colors I’d hoped to capture. The blues and browns of the colder season encompassed the sense of somber enchantment only the shortening of days brings.
Therein lies the question as I meditated the idea, mulled over, that nature doesn’t care: What does survival mean for us? We are a silly people whose complicated lives and festooned efforts to survive often lead to a dichotomy of disaster and great achievement.
In this magnificent desolation, I’m reminded that non-human life around goes on. Life doesn’t stop going forward in the midst of human crisis, big or small.
Late in the afternoon and cloudy, I hiked along a path by the pond. And, there was the evidence. Beavers. I discovered their handy work in the wooded forest along the treeline.
The Instinct of Natural Engineers
These relatively large rodents built their “beaver” home with the sheared off logs and other natural resources around them. As I approached a few of these logs that they chewed down, I took a few photos. The perfect cylindrical severing of these trees fascinated me.
How perfect was their log chopping by gnawing with just a few sharp teeth! I also noticed that they only seemed to chop down trees that looked nice and round. The trees had a diameter of about 6″ and that didn’t deviate much tree to tree. This invariant behavior intrigued me.
This was the work of true engineers. Beavers took exact measurements and worked toward unwritten specifications. The beavers’ instinct drove them to seek out the “right” logs, the perfect raw materials to create their amphibious dominatories. Something inside them, perhaps a voice, told them that they needed to build this way.
Not only did they succeed, their homes were beautiful and elegant. Underneath, near the waterline, the beavers had everything they needed. Food, shelter, and a social life. All of this natural wonder, built through something hard-wired, instinctual, and mysteriously effective.
Final Thoughts: How About Us?
Does this same inner voice drive us, too? If a voice or spirit drives us like the beavers, why are the infrastructures of our lives in such chaos? We create messes and fight to clean them up all the time.
Just observing nature, one must believe that there is something that drives us how to think, to act, and to live the way we do. We aren’t just taught how to do and think things.
But, it’s a mess. We make and live in homes but don’t appreciate them. We always want more. This ambition seems unnatural, even detrimental.
Obviously, it seems that the typical human life is a dynamic balancing act between chaos and the purposeful, ordered structures that Beavers construct. A beaver who makes a proper home must have a singular instinct. The instinct that offspring inherit, so through the ages, they as a species can continue their livelihood.
Maybe, the conflict we have everyday is related to listening to opposing instructions or instincts. Are you in conflict with opposing ideas and unsure which to follow?