2004-09-10 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

by Marilyn Gelfand

The seasons change with regularity and order and so do the human adaptations to them. Our summer ends, and children return to school. It is the regularity of the seasons that allowed me to believe that there has to be something out there that cares abut this planet. There is no chaos here in nature. There is a definite order that can be easily seen. Although there are hurricanes, earthquakes or tremendous fires, these are set into an orderly lunar calendar that allows the tides and moon to appear with a repetitive order. Science has given us so much to enhance nature. But still in our lifetimes, we have to fit into nature to work in harmony with it. We still have babies born out of women’s bodies, we still know that the seeds will grow in the spring, and that it will be cold in winter. Our days and nights are defined for us. The sun is there in the morning. To me this is how I know that there is more to life than just human intelligence. We don’t control the framework of our existence. We still age and die as people have always done. In my backyard, I am always astounded at how many different crawling and flying things live with me.  There are always new bugs of different sizes to see. The ants are also varied from year to year. I know under my front steps there must be thousands of ants because the sand gets kicked out into mounds in the spring.  The snails too always make their appearance and enjoy my flowers and vegetables. I try not to get too upset when other species come around when we have a picnic. I try to control the food rather than the insect. 

We share the planet with each other and with so many different nonhuman lifeforms. It is impossible to push them away. We have to live in harmony with nature. I have found rather than get angry at mosquitoes, I spray myself or wear long sleeves. I have to expect that they will be where I know they will be at certain times of the year. I adapt myself rather then get angry over what is the order of things.

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