Nothing more, nothing less
It was a brilliant morning, crystal blue skies all the way as I drove out to our cottage to complete another end of the summer task preparing the camp for its winter nap. Some pillows washed and ready for next year, a final clean out of the refrigerator leaving me with a box of beer and several as yet unopened bags of potato chips.
One could never say that our cottage was nutritionally elevating, at least not where the males in our family are concerned.
I wandered out onto the deck. The lake shone in the morning sun as I poured some of the remaining bottled water on to the struggling to survive impatiens that had been deprived of water by the roof’s overhang.
And I heard the crows, cawing their greetings…or were they warnings. Their murder…which is what you call a grouping of crows, appropriate for my always romanticized vision of the cottage…must have a roost somewhere near.
As long as I can remember they have been there, making their unmistakable presence known with their equally unmistakable calls. Do they know me after all these years? An interloper in their woodsy world?
It was one of those evanescent moments when my modern world had receded and another awareness arose.
It was that oneness that you feel at moments of peace. A sense of fitting in, a part of the whole, linked to all of that whole. Was it the “self actualization” that sits on the top of Mazlow’s hierarchy?
It was more that “I” had been replaced by a sense of being one with the entirety of the moment. Not more. Not less. A sense of the providential?
Later, after returning to our house to settle in and read the morning paper, I was pleasantly surprised to see this small article that contained a quote by the Rev. Jim Kerr-Whitt, Baptist pastor who, while walking in the wilds near the Salmon River in New Brunswick experienced a similar revelation of feeling that sense that all creation is one.
“All life in this universe is of the One Life Sacred. May we ever treat it thus, for in so doing is joy and our hope for peace.”
Theology? My gosh, the sisters of St. Joseph who were my elementary school teachers would pale at the thought. I would too for my knowledge in this realm is woefully scant, but I do have other validations, from biology and anthropology that say “yes” to Rev. Kerr-Whitt’s perception.
Biologists describe the environment as a steady state system that is maintained by all of its inhabitants, alive and inanimate.
Change one element and all will change to maintain the system. Some have named this idea Gaia, after the ancient Greek mother goddess. According to the Gaia theory, the earth reacts to preserve itself with actions and reactions that can take thousands of years as all of the elements that make up the earth readjust and come back to “normal.”
As an example, add increased green house gases and you get ice melt, sea rise, terrific (in the real sense of terror) storms. On the other end of the atmospheric spectrum are the ice ages. Biologists describe five main ice ages or glaciation periods lasting thousands of years where the ice sheets from both poles moved toward the equator.
In between these “ice ages” the degree to which any part of the earth was covered with ice varied. Speculation about why and how these periods occur is laid to the degree to which greenhouse gases, particularly CO2, are in the atmosphere.
In the past, the sources of CO2 had to be natural, e.g. from volcanic action and such. Today, the loss of glaciation has been linked to wide spread deforestation (trees absorb CO2 during the process of photosynthesis) and the combustion of fossil fuels.
The anthropologist can show you a general sense of oneness among many peoples both from the past and the present, groups that see the elements of this earth as being alive, having purpose and, in the Judeo-Christian parlance, a soul.
It was only last night that PBS showed the documentary, “Native Americans,” which beautifully explained the world view that permeates many native American cultures. Again, that world view sees humans as being only a part of the whole, needing to acknowledge and adjust to the needs of the parts of the whole.
Even mathematicians and physicists contribute to this idea seeing the cosmos without plan but having a plan when we enter the mix.
In quantum physics, and I have no grasp of this at all, the universe is unordered until we investigate it. I know, I try to understand, but…
There is chaos theory that echoes the plan-less universe such that if a “butterfly flaps its wings, it can change the weather.” Living where we do that doesn’t seem too odd at all.
Realistic? Yes. We do affect the world and all that is on and in the world and, in return the world affects us.
So, standing on my deck this morning, I had that brief sense that primitive and not so primitive humans have had. How this more than poetic sense writes in our lives, in the policies and actions of our leaders, our governments, should be a constant concern.
It is for me. It will be even more so for my grandsons.
Nov 13, 2018
Nov 13, 2018
Nov 13, 2018