I experienced such a sense of peace this morning as I took a morning walk. Here in the Sonoran Desert, the earlier the walk the better, before the hot sun does what the sun does. There is a beautiful walkway with a pond and fountains near my daughter’s house. On the way in, I saw turtles sunning on a rock and stopped to see them, but they dove into the water because I scared them when I stopped. On the way back, hoping to see the turtles at the same spot, I approached slower and observed quietly, hidden by a bush. I did see the turtles again—-but they had a buddy sitting with them.
What great delight to see, two turtles and a mallard duck, sharing a small rock just doing what turtles and ducks do. Then, I see movement in the water and here’s the tail of a big ass bass swimming around that same rock. Three different species doing what they do, being fish, turtles & ducks. I wish I could have taken a photo, (this one is similar) but I knew I would mess up the intricate balance that they had negotiated so that they could share this rock in peace.
There are a lot of different birds enjoying this suburban oasis. About mid-way through my walk there were Canadian Geese. Three full grown and three goslings. I also stopped to admire those cute little furry baby birds. But I knew, to keep the peace, I had to keep my distance and could not approach those little ones. Because I respected their space and kept quiet, they didn’t see me as a threat. However, had I walked toward those babies —– well, let’s just say there wouldn’t be any more peace for Karen!
As we prepare to move here to the desert, especially out where our property is, I know that I need to continue to learn. Back east, surely there are ducks, turtles, bass, and, of course, Canadian Geese, but in the wilds of the desert, there are different rules to living with wildlife. Can people, rattlesnakes, javelina and mountain lions get along on the same rock? Absolutely not! But we can get along on the same mountain. If I respect their territory and if I am smart about hiking, gardening, and other things it is possible. These dangerous creatures are basically shy and are as terrified of me! As I do what humans do while respecting what rattlesnakes do—- it is possible to co-exist.
To take this theme a step further . . . I wish humans of the 21st Century understood this. We are living in a time where “our species” is becoming more and more stratified. There is such a sense of distrust of our own kind. Surely, we come from different countries, races, political agendas, religions, (go ahead and add to this list). But as the world gets smaller, the population grows, and travel is easier and less costly than ever, rather than embracing our differences and learning from each other, or simply avoiding what makes us uncomfortable, it seems that there is a greater sense of control issues, criticism, defensiveness and many other negative responses. This isn’t only from country to country, but it has spiraled down to neighbors and even family members. I believe that we humans all want peace, but inner and outer war is at hand in too many ways.
So, I guess the question begs to be asked, “If I can move into an environment where I need to learn how to enjoy my life while at the same time realize that I have to respect a rattlesnake for being a rattlesnake, or, I might find myself dead—–why can’t humans do the same thing?” “Why not learn new strategies for getting along with our Species?” “Why can’t we learn to bask in the sun on the same rock in the same way turtles, ducks and fish do?”
Turtles follow turtle rules
Ducks follow duck rules
Big Ass Bass follow bass rules
Rattlesnakes & javelina follow rules too
Let one of them break the barriers, yes, they will lash out. Rattlesnakes will strike, javelina will use those nasty teeth. Human beings will lash out too, and sometimes that lashing out is appropriate. Appropriate lashing out is not what I’m trying to point out. I’m of the impression that humans, at this stage of the game, are lashing out, not because of impending danger, or loss of territory. The human species is lashing out because of assumptions, unidentified fear and an inability to negotiate space on the rock. Peace sometimes “just happens”, but the truth is that peace is something that we all must work toward. Peace is work but the rewards are worth it!
We can learn from two turtles, a duck and a big ass bass—- I think it’s worth looking for ways to bring peace to this world. In our homes, in our communities, yes, social communities too. Turn off the negativity, look for the beauty, seek how to enjoy the peace. (I had to “work” / think about how I could approach this rock without scaring the inhabitants. I simply slowed down and got quiet as can be, it was “work” in the sense that I had to do something different to become a part of this peaceful scene. We can all do the same in our everyday lives as we endeavor to live among other species and humanity.
Enjoying the Adventure!
Turtle & duck: dinascitywildlife.com
Rattlesnake, https://sunnyrunning.com/2013/05/21/what-to-do-if-you-run-into-a-rattlesnake/ Google Imaages