Blaming humanity for all of Nature’s woes would not be far from the truth. We, after all, have pillaged and raped our environment with such force and speed that Mother Nature didn’t know what was coming. One minute, she’s quietly growing a petri dish of bacteria, in the next she notices that we’ve dammed up her rivers, buried nuclear waste in her confines and burned down entire forests. Not a pretty sight, and the very fact that Nature still lives today despite our best efforts to destroy her is something worth applauding.
Shrink your view down a bit and you have my microcosm analogy; my own little personal shout out to Nature. For the winter I’ve taken it upon myself to grow two little plants of basil in my room in a tiny 2-3 cup pot (I honestly have no idea how you “measure” pot sizes). For being exposed to such a horrendous gardener, my little basil have grown tremendously well and are even budding new leaves. Woohoo!
Quite honestly I was afraid of taking such a task upon myself. If a tiny organism that requires nothing but water ends up dying in my care, it would strike a heavy blow at my value as a competent human being.
The lives of the basil were not my highest priority, though. It was, in fact, little Mr. Earthworm.
You see, I figured that my being such a shoddy gardener and all, I would make it all the more possible for my basil to survive my treatment and ventured out to get them a little worm friend. And by venture out of course I mean sending my little brother out on the errand. After digging around in our backyard he successfully retrieves a healthy looking earthworm. It looks a little shocked, a little cold, but most importantly, alive. With glee I take the little earthworm and place him in my pot, dump a sprinkling of grass cuttings and dry leaves on top and make sure the soil is moist enough.
And then nothing happens. Mr. Earthworm, apparently in shock at having been so rudely evicted from his previous residence, isn’t moving. He lies on the soil, motionless. For hours.
I panic. What have I done? I’ve killed a life in order to raise another.
I imagine my basil will probably wilt in rebellion.
My green thumb is now red with the blood of the innocent.
Feeling a laughable amount of urgency for such a tiny thing I pour more water, thinking that the worm might be suffocating. I put the pot next to my laptop and under a light in order to warm up the soil. (In hindsight, I probably nearly drowned and baked the little guy, but it seemed a good idea at the time.)
Mr. Earthworm proved to be as dexterous as Mother Nature herself, and eventually crawled around the pot and dug his way to safety. Not only do I feel redeemed as a human being, but I stand in awe at the power of the creatures around us, even something as lowly as an earthworm.
Honestly, if I can’t even kill it, Nature’s got a pretty good chance.