The Scene of New Life

ONE OF THE REASONS people often talk about a ‘return to nature’ is because it is essentially true. The natural world, the green and living Earth, the turning of the seasons, the rhythms of the primitive, of storms and sunrises, are all Home. This is the world from which we sprang, from which we have grown, to which we belong and to which we ultimately return at the end of life. We were not dropped off here, as some seem to think, by some alien race from another world—yet we modern day human beings often behave as if it were so, as though we were aliens or refugees on our own planet.

We are not. We are related to every plant, every tree, and every creature. Related by biology, genetics, history and pre-history and every sympathy of our bones and our minds. So when spring comes and new life returns, when Sandhill cranes toss their wild echoes up and down the river, when the trumpeter swans answer with their own bugle notes, when the eagles and robins and hummingbirds return to nest, it feels like an awakening and a true homecoming in every sense. The cyclical journey of life is once more made plain, and our own role in it re-established, if we have ears to hear and eyes to see. We can sense the joy, and the responsibility, of belonging.

Here in the Pine Point woods by the great Mississippi, all these things are happening. And once again the fox den not far from the old log cabin is the scene of new life, of little ones awakening to the grand, old, brand-new world, with all its challenges, joys and difficulties. Life is never easy. For any creature, including us. But it is life. It is real and earnest and it is good to be a part of it, and to welcome new members to the fraternity—the family—of life.

And here at the old grove we like to call the Church O’ The Pines, it is good to welcome new members to the congregation. Here, all anyone has to do to to join is to be themselves, and we all teach and learn from one another in the process. Even this little guy, standing guard at the entrance to the den, looking at a world made just for him. And me. And you.

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