Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Simple Suggestion #260... Have a chat with nature

Walking with Shadow-pup is always an adventure. These days, when it's chilly in the mornings, it usually takes a bit of wildlife to get him to stop dragging his feet (I guess he'd rather be curled up on the foot of someone's bed than hiking around the river valley with me). So yesterday, he didn't really get moving until he spotted the mother of all ravens. I swear, the bird was bigger than he was, sitting five feet up on a fence, and the silly dog ran at it as though he could take the bird down.

He can usually scare off crows, magpies, jack rabbits and squirrels. They fly or run away, and Shadow feels like he's the big dog on the block. But the raven just looked down its beak at the Shadow, as if to say, "That all you got? Really?"

It was a magnificent bird, and I told it so -- shiny black feathers, intelligent eyes, long, strong beak. I also told it how much I appreciate its presence in the neighbourhood, especially its sense of humour and play. I love to watch it ride the air currents way above the trees, and it left me lots of presents in the birdbath over the summer -- a few shiny trinkets, candy wrappers, and the odd half mouse, yuck. Anyway, I spoke to it, and it listened intently for a few moments, unafraid, and then Shadow and I moved on, the dog frustrated that he couldn't budge the bird, the bird looking like it wondered what that was all about.

Having wildlife around is always a good thing because it reminds us human beings that we aren't the only pebbles on the beach -- that this planet isn't just for our use, but to be shared with all the other creatures around us. If we could all see the intrinsic beauty and value in a raven, a rabbit, or a rosebush, you can bet we'd be more likely to treat everyone and everything with deeper respect.

So I dare you. Go outside. Find a tree, or a chickadee, or some other living thing and tell it that it's a valuable part of your existence. Perhaps the best way to change the world is to increase our own appreciation and gratitude for its myriad forms of life.

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Click here.

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