not people

As I was picking blackberries this morning, I was startled by a little snake.  She was suspended in the blackberry thicket, maybe finding the air more pleasant than the wet ground, maybe hunting the frogs that inhabit the ditch below the berries.  For just a moment, I was an Eve – thinking about fruit, but temporarily captivated by the beauty of this creature, her slender muscularity, the elegance of the racing stripes down her back.  I reached out to touch her smooth scales and she slipped away.  The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil has long been among us.

snake

this isn’t her, but a beauty nonetheless.

*

Outside our bathroom window there is log where the skinks and lizards sit to catch some morning light.  A young one, with a bright blue tale, creeps out to bask for a moment.  The moment is brief because an older skink, twice the size of its kin, emerges and chases away the freshie.

*

kids 2After the excitement of the birth of our first goat kids here, we were astonished to find that the mama goats want nothing to do with each other’s kids.  If anything, they appear disdainful of them.  Given the chance, they butt them or nip the little one’s tails if they come too close.  We have even witnessed the does go out of their way to jostle the other’s kid while it was nursing.

What kind of survival tactic is this, we wonder?  Surely the herd would thrive if they were kind to one another’s offspring?

It’s disappointing.

It’s also a little bit terribly poignant.

*

elder flowerThe national and international news reel of the past couple weeks has been brutal.  I feel bruised at the soul every time I turn on the radio.  This is a reminder – the concept of humanity as a unity – the concept that we are all HUMAN and more alike than not – is a relatively new concept.  And it is fragile.

I’ve never had a problem with thinking of humans as animals.  We are animals with extraordinary brains, however, and it’s obvious that we have intellectual and spiritual potential beyond many (I won’t say all) of the creatures with which we share the world.  Surely we need not be bound by the same blind territorial instincts as our relatives.  I can only hope and pray that enough of us, striving against our lower instincts, can hold a peace.

Fear and Greed, and the Anger and Violence that abet their motives, are our enemies,           not people.

 

6 thoughts on “not people

  1. It reminds me of the turmoil of the 60s which I lived through in my 20s. Many peoples souls are wounded by this hated stirred up by the political drama . The underbelly of fear is surfacing . We all need to look deep and not be part of that hate . Slavery and brutality has been part of the human path from the dawn of time as well as all the beautiful traits and wonders of our species . I live cocooned here in this tiny homestead built over the last 40 years by my husband and myself …a hermitage like the garden of eden . I invite people in to share it and try to live in harmony with all the critters. My hope is to share what I have learned with others so they too can create their own garden of eden at their homes .

  2. well put. i’ve also never had a problem thinking of humans as just another animal, and maybe that’s why i’m not so optimistic about it. years ago i watched a documentary on chimpanzees and i’ll never forget the footage they showed of one troop attacking another for purely territorial purposes. the gang of attackers moved through the forest in complete silence, communicating through hand signals, and when they got within sight of the other chimps the attackers let out war whoops and went charging in and slaughtered them all. it was terrifying because it looked so human, and it made me think about how much of our violence is ape behavior. i’m definitely not saying that to excuse human behavior, just thinking about where it all comes from. i’d like to think we can surpass those instincts but i have to say that i’m getting more and more doubtful….
    sorry to not have any uplifting words….

    • some days it’s easier to be uplifting than others, isn’t it? i think we forget that we have a choice about whether to be violent or not – and when too many of us forget – then the trouble starts, or continues, as the case may be. let’s go find some good documentaries about dolphins or bonobos! i hope you have a good day Kate and thanks for reading.

    • my late husband used to say that civilization is just a thin veneer for the wildness beneath. I like to think we are evolving …gives me a ray of hope anyway ….

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