Blue elderberry — one fairly dense shrub about ten feet tall alongside the path above Goose Lake; another twice as high, several hundred feet farther on where the path and dry stream bed turn; a third, the smallest, but with a crop every bit as ample as the others, not far north.
Mission Lake, below the old black cottonwood, green with algae, very shallow, dotted with softly illuminated shore birds, some standing, a few that appear to be sitting, and others silent and motionless atop the horizontal trunks of dead trees, although nothing, nothing, nothing is ever really dead in this universe.
In his rich, inspiring The Diversity of Life, amid the flow of a multitude of delicious facts and detail, E.O. Wilson eloquently points again and again to how little we know about ourselves and the world in which we live. There are plant and animal species by the millions we know nothing at all about, and are killing — yea, murdering — at an alarming rate. There exist countless millions of species of bacteria that remain undiscovered, leave alone understood, while we fear and throw darts at the few we recognize.
Turn over a fact — it might be a stone — and what is revealed, but a fathomless starry sky of perfectly balanced and orchestrated diversity, not one detail of which can be dispensed with, disregarded, or set aside as unimportant: each is vital, each is connected to everything else.
Take a deep breath — if you still can — then draw your own conclusion.
August 25, 2021
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Categories: New Poems & Pieces
Tags: Arrogance, Breath, Cottonwoods, Death, Diaries, Diversity, Edward O. Wilson, Elderberry, Goose Lake, Humility, Ignorance, Journals, Knowledge, Library of America, Life, Mission Lake, Reading, Stones, The Diversity of Life, Walking