Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Derivations on a Theme -- All Creatures Great and Small

All creatures are one with nature from the largest to the smallest. There is no life within that is marked as insignificant or meaningless. All these things have something to teach us if we are a good student. Their lessons can prove quite valuable. We can learn love, patience, power, self-control, grace, forgiveness. Man sees himself as being above all others but this is mere fallacy.
~ from Roshi Hogan's Teachings of the Tao ~
One aspect of my life that is a great blessing is to live in a small town on the edge of a forest. Far away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, I spend significant amounts of time almost everyday watching, hearing and/or experiencing nature.

The many mint plants in our front garden are flowering. Every afternoon for the past few weeks our front yard is inundated with bees, both honey bees and bumblebees. While my wife shies away from them for fear of being stung, I often sit quietly right next to the mint patch. My experience is that, while yellow jackets and other wasps sometimes are aggressive, bees tend to go about their business and only will sting if they feel threatened.

Bees represent an integral species for a healthy planet. Without them, many of our food crops would not get pollinated and food scarcity would become a major problem. There are many non-food plants that would not be pollinated either and we need lots of green plants to counteract humankind's penchant for actions that are leading toward climate change.

Compared to a human being, a bee is smaller than a fingernail. Yet, Mother Earth needs bees far more than she needs people! Our species could disappear tomorrow and the planet would be no worse for wear. However, if bees disappear completely, so too does life as we know it.

As Roshi Hogan tells it, "There is no life within that is marked as insignificant or meaningless." It would be good for human beings to keep this thought ever in mind.

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