The world is a busy place, sucking you dry. Newspapers are filled with news, from bombing Syria and worries about being bombed in return, to disgust that Congress has allowed the killing of hibernating bears and wolf cubs in their dens. It makes me wonder what the world is coming to . . . and what people think. Yes, I live in an isolated part of the world, one which is relatively safe, but it doesn’t keep me isolated unless I turn off the news. This is where the walk in the woods, in the fields, and exploring the natural world outside the artifice of man beckons. As California is now in the midst of a bloom unseen in years, I am out there nearly every day, taking in the blooms, the colors of the hillsides, and listening to the birdsong and buzz of bees. It brings a peace.
As someone who is getting older, I frequently think of death. People – friends, colleagues, family – have died in the recent years. All my earliest childhood friends are gone. Death is something to be considered in this day and age of every baby must be born, regardless, and everyone must be put on life support, regardless. There is something disrespectful about the quality of life all this means. Keeping people alive by artificial means reaches a point, an ethical point, where it is ridiculous. Killing wolf cubs and hibernating bears for sport is equally unethical. Our destruction of the natural world boggles the mind, and the immediacy of pleasure or self-righteousness fails to address a longer viewpoint: what are we leaving behind? Plundered resources, extinct animals, and warehouses of people on life support. Equally, we kill others with impunity. In 40 to 50 years, the earth’s population will double, and we will be in even more dire straits than we are in now. Even within our own lifetimes we see the destruction, but deny it.
And so, flowers. One part of the natural world, fragrant, beautiful, evanescent. If they disappear? What next?