September 12, 2021

Times have changed.  I have changed.  I am still somewhat the wide-eyed explorer of years ago, but so much is no longer the same.  I live in an assisted living facility now.  The age range of our readers spans perhaps 70 years old to 100 plus.

Although my eyes are not what they used to be, my desire to read and even to write is still strong and willing, if not quite as capable.   I wandered into our library today and a large book with beautiful photos copyrighted in 1980 called me over.

It was called “Galapagos, Islands in Time” by Tui De Roy Moore,  and it quickly activated some old memories and some future worries.   Past memories flooded in.  Yes, I was once a young girl who lived in a childhood home that was situated in a location that definitely impacted my life in a major way.

We young ones squirmed under a fence to gain entrance to a wonderland of undisturbed nature near our housing project of two-story, connected homes.  It was supposedly somewhere near an air force base off limits to visitors, but we never got close enough to see any planes.

That area was wilderness unchanged by humans and open for exploration to children who wondered and wandered.  It even had a mountain, or at least a big  bump that we would slide down in winter time.  All was filled with nature-planted, flowers, trees, marshes, tiny critters — and I never saw an adult there.  It was huge with no ending to my childhood eyes.

My parents were the type who only went outdoors when indoors was not continuous.  So, I didn’t have experience in such a natural place.  It was curiosity and love at first sight.

I spent many of  my free after school hours exploring that perfect little piece of nature during 6 years of elementary school.  Those were the days when mothers didn’t drive, it was safe to play outdoors, and you weren’t expected to come home until the streetlights came on.

I totally believe that was where my love of nature began and bloomed for my whole lifetime.  I grew up loving and respecting nature while becoming an avid camper and world wide wanderer.

And where I believed more than 35 years ago that nature was in trouble from humans.   I was intrinsically aware that there was a balance to nature, and that we humans, in our hubris, wrongly believed ourselves capable of being in control of nature.

After recent winds, rain, floods, etc. people seem to be a trifle more aware of the dangers, but I long ago felt that it is already too late to turn around the imbalance.

It mystified me that most humans did not believe most animals, no matter what the size and kind, could have deep emotional  connections.  Instinct and my volunteer work at a marine mammal center gave me no doubt that the natural world had  deep emotional attachments far beyond what humans understood.  My volunteer years at a  Marine Mammal Center showed me examples of how animals “feel,”  bond to their environment, and definitely love.

I still believe that nature is capable of healing itself, but only after humans are out of the picture.   Humans cannot overpopulate and dominate the whole planet Earth without destroying our species too.

 

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