Along my winding path in life, there was a special time when I took one of my many leaps toward understanding my part in things.
I moved to a little lake town. There was hardly a corporate building in sight.
What did the town possess? The lake. A big, beautiful lake that many golfed around during their vacations.
Working at the prestigious resort, I saw a family behind the scenes of things. Tight-knit. Everyone grew up there together. Their jobs were to act like they weren’t from a tiny, quaint town for the rich folks who visited.
I was proud to be on the other side, irritated that different sides exist.
While watching this disconnect and being torn apart by one of the millionaire regulars (for my gender and young appearance: “definitely not qualified for the role I was in”), I went back to what I knew: nature.
There wasn’t a coffee shop available to sit in, distract, and have a single-serving connection. None of my creature comforts lived in that town with me.
I spent my time watching the squirrels play. The many birds (so many cardinals) twirling about, dancing in the air. The play. They played constantly. If they weren’t gathering food, they were playing.
I got my breath taken away by the butterflies that would land on me while I was alone with my thoughts.
(These are some of my favorite memories to date.)
I’d go canoeing down the nearby river, and roadrunners (I really didn’t know they existed outside of Wiley E. Coyote) would follow alongside, curious, cautious, and quirky.
What I noticed most? None of my animal friends paid any mind to the things that simply do not matter.
“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” ~ Alice Walker
I took a course in nature that year.
Even though I grew up on a large acreage full of nature, I had yet to become humble enough to receive its blessed gifts.
I’ve seen the world differently since. After all, aren’t we all animals?
I’d like to invite you to soak in a thing or two about connectivity—how we’re all one.
Have you ever gazed out of a window at the scenery and found yourself mesmerized by a bird, much like a cat? You have likely sunbathed, or at least had the urge, as much as one, too.
Like our canine companions—perhaps closer to our childhoods—we have galloped across a backyard to swoop up a frisbee. We get the same silly, happy feeling when we’re cuddled up with the person we love.
We’ve swum in lakes like fish, in rivers like an otter. We have the tendency to be as playful as otters sometimes, too. We don’t have to be on a river.
We have flown amongst the clouds with a flock of our species. We can’t spread our wings to achieve this, but somehow, we found a way.
We slay with our words like cheetahs taking down a gazelle to ultimately, ideally, learn: we are not that animal.
We disappear into our shells, many times, like little turtles, incredibly fearful of everything surrounding us.
We are all one.
We are all animals.
We are all connected.
We are no better than the other, and we have our decisions to make.
Big, blessed, luxurious decisions.
We don’t have to take down gazelles on the African savanna to survive. Most of us have it better than we think.
(Some of us would probably rather be on the African savanna with the cheetahs because life is so hard here.)
And most of us are just looking for connectivity.
It’s right here. It’s right in the palm of your hand.
Stop looking so far because it’s right there with you.
We’re said to be the most intelligent species.
But we’re the species that has it all wrong.
They say, “birds of a feather flock together.”
So, find your flock, and grow.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ~ Albert Einstein