the exquisite cycle

by | Aug 9, 2022

California MilkweedThe California milkweed is flowering, and it is glorious! The caterpillar, though, has apparently journeyed on. This morning I sat in the garden for a long time, listening to the sounds of baby Juncos hopping about and their mother’s nearby “clicking,” and bees swarming busily around the giant thyme plant, and squirrels chattering, and the tic-tic-tic of a neighbors sprinkler and, I thought, what a lovely place to be. Repeatedly, I leaned into the raised bed, squinting, hoping to see Frida, the visiting Monarch, somewhere among the milkweed. But there was no sign of her, nor on any of my visits throughout the day.

This afternoon as I stood peering into the garden a notion arrived about the beauty and purpose of feeding another being, about the utter magic of a caterpillar snatched up and swallowed into the belly of a bird or a wasp, and how that caterpillar’s contribution to a healthy ecosystem supports every creature who lives there. And how only humans see ourselves as separate from that exquisite cycle. Yet, still believing we can learn.

I thought how fortunate I am to sit among these incredible beings, to observe their behavior and listen to the sounds of so many living things working in tandem, and to notice the ways that nature ever-so-subtly invites me in as an observer so that I might come to understand that I am also, in some way, a participant.

This evening I am sitting in gratitude for the blessing that is this life, yours and mine, as part of an earth community that graciously and patiently awaits our awareness and right action. May we rise to the occasion and fully embody our highest and best potential. I believe in us.