Saturday, March 28, 2015

A spring day

I spent part of the day at a wildlife refuge, where it was my privilege to see the head of one bald eagle peeking out over the edge of a nest, and the other eagle flying around hunting and delivering food.

I've also been watching the nest of red-tailed hawks at Cornell, via webcam: the first egg of the season was laid today. (The webcam is great to watch, especially once the eggs hatch. But be warned, if you're sensitive about "Nature, red in tooth and claw," that if you watch live streaming footage of birds of prey, you will eventually see them eating.)

I've also enjoyed Melodye Shore's account of a hummingbird nest that this year produced two new offspring.

This elemental activity--the nesting and the raising of young birds--is keeping me grounded this spring. These birds are going about their business, tending to the very basics of life. It's been a comfort, especially at a time when the human race just can't seem to get its act together, when we resort to the tired old weapons of violence and discrimination. You would think that with disease, poverty, aging, and resource scarcity to deal with, we would have enough problems without creating new ones to inflict upon ourselves. I am weary of reading about all the ways in which people punish one another, the ways in which we try to control one another, the ways in which we refuse to live and let live. (If you are weary, too, Beth Kephart has some thoughts on kindness you might want to read.)

Nature has long been the thing that brings me back in touch with myself. Nature is not always kind, either, but there is a refreshing lack of malice in it. And the scent of the earth thawing is sweet.

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