Nature – Naturally slow by design?
I remember sitting in the grass on a hilltop on my family’s ranch in Southern Alberta where I grew up. I was in my pre-teens and in that state of curiosity about so many things in life. I was watching, with curious interest, the movement of bugs in the grass. The different bugs, from the busy ants, to the slow moving caterpillars, to the buzzing bees, to the worms and ladybugs, all doing what they do in the canopy of the long summer grasses. My thoughts were on how these little creatures live their daily lives, what do they think about, do they plan for the future, do they remember the past?
Nature. These questions that I had about nature didn’t need to be answered by any scientist or expert on the insect world at hand... I felt that they needed to be answered by me. Learning, and understanding, from the basis of watching, listening, interpreting what came to my own mind over the course of my own life-studies. Sure, it’s awesome to study and develop sciences around the natural order of species and their interaction and interrelation to each other, but I wanted to know things from a place of wonder and connection of the subjects myself.
Memories came back to me the other day as I was sitting at my kitchen desk watching a spider build it’s intricate web in the late hours of the evening. And my time here on earth, and the things that I’ve learned so far, re-examining my original wonderment of these questions. Now knowing a bit more from my own life experiences... I became more keenly aware of how nature, in it’s steady progression of living out life, is really a very intricately and beautifully designed flow of steady pace. Creatures, big and small, bipedal or multi-pedal, all grow and interact on a very steady rhythm of natural flow. We humans tend to move at lightening speed when it comes to living our lives. Fast internet and communication. Fast cars and transportation. Fast food and quick delivery of our next meal. Even in our growing of said food or production of said products for living... all have been accelerated since the dawn of industrialization and mechanization of our tools for living. Seemingly racing away from nature’s rhythmic flow.
The days of digging in the soil, hoeing the rows, planting the (non-genetically-modified) seedlings, watering, fertilizing, harvesting with very basic to little tools, using our own hands... have all but vanished. Even our own bodies are inundated with speedy methods of healing and recovery from our days of rushing through life. Building muscle these days is more for surviving society-driven-ego than it is for surviving and prospering. We tend to produce to meet the demands of demand rather than what is needed for need.
Yet, nature... still moves at it’s own pace. The bees don’t tend to make their honey any faster than they did a millennia ago, ants don’t collect more food for the winter months any more or any faster. The spider still spins a web and collects the flies that inadvertently fly into his dinner plate... the web not made any faster than needed. Science might give us deeper insight into the process of our earthly friends, but it has been living life, slowing down to notice and listen, that I’ve started to learn about how flows in nature are only changed by what we humans interpret the needs of change to be.
Can we take a few hints from nature and notice some of it’s life balances? Can we pause for a few moments in our daily rushes to really listen to our own interpretations of what life means to us? And can scientists really tell us if insects plan for the future or hold resentments of the past? If they can, or if they do, good on them and good for them. I look forward to hearing their interpretations of life in the natural flow and order of things from their perspective one day.