The Most Amazing Thing


If you take a look around while you’re out walking
Just to catalog the things you chance to see
From the beetle at your footstep to the pigeon overhead
To the bracket fungus high up in a tree
You will notice the abundances of nature
It’s astonishing, of course, because it’s true

And the most amazing thing about this earthworm

And the most amazing thing about this kitty

And the most amazing thing about this sea cucumber

And the most amazing thing about this virus

And the most amazing thing about this mushroom

And the most amazing thing about this octopus

And the most amazing thing about this fig tree

And the most amazing thing about this wallaby

And the most amazing thing about this daffodil

And the most amazing thing about this slime mold

And the most amazing thing about this yeast cell

And the most amazing thing about this humpback

And the most amazing thing about this baby

And the most amazing thing about this amoeba

And the most amazing thing about this every living thing

Is that all of it’s related… to you.

So I was out walking the cuttledogs the other day, and noticed that, since the heavy rain of last month, the fungi are out. Loads of them. Multicolored fruiting bodies, some as big as frisbee golf disks, others the size of quilting pins. Bracket fungi in rotting trees, puffballs in brown and in white, and many more than I have ever seen out at one time before. It’s just stunningly beautiful, once you have adjusted your perception to look for them rather than to overlook them.

And the trees are done with late summer greens, but have not yet decided on their fall colors–the leaves are mottled with insect and mold damage, and beautiful in their own way. The squirrels are active, the crows have formed gangs of thugs (they have torn up my back yard looking for, and finding, grubs; I can’t treat for grubs now without risking poisoning the crows, and I have grown fond of them) and have taken over the neighborhood. The groundhog is fat. Praying mantises are looking for places to lay eggs.

It is all just so achingly beautiful, and it’s all us; one of the side effects of the evolutionary world view is a necessary broadening of the category “us”. These things are my distant cousins.

It’s so beautiful. And it won’t last.

Comments

  1. Joan says

    The whole creation groaneth and travaileth together. It is the common and the god-like law of life. The browsers, the biters, the barkers, the hairy coats of field and forest, the squirrel in the oak, the thousand-footed creeper in the dust, as they share with us the gift of life, share with us the love of an ideal: strive like us–like us are tempted to grow weary of the struggle–to do well;

    Robert Lewis Stevenson

    Passage from Pulvis Et Umbra

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