Thursday, August 30, 2012

man as nature

What does the world look like when humans see themselves as nature. This morning I woke up to otters chasing raccoons off the dock. Successful, they splashed into the shores of Lake Union and twirled around each other, giving little nibbles and pushes.    Ann, my housemate, says they used to live under another houseboat, but the owners had them removed to the other side of the state because they squeeked in the morning. Maybe they are back, I say, and maybe they will live here, under ours.  Wouldn’t it be cool to wake up to otter squeaks? In Cali, a rooster crowed each morning. I found it comforting knowing some aspect of wild was preserved in that concrete jungle.  

Merle Lakoff, the Executive Director of Emerging Diplomacy, a social cause 501(c)3 that works in the middle east, invited me to spend the day and evening talking with people from Orcas Island about happiness.  Yeah and uuugh.I am lucky to do this, but hate driving.  A long ride in the car (after 6 years carless, I finally have one – a prius) to a park and ride, and bus trip found me on the ferry. I look out the window.

Cormorants are nested on the peer. There are nests up and down each crony.  The babies are near the size of adults but downy and sill. A parent and child bird do a dance between necks, the father pushing his head into the baby’s mouth as a continuation of the dance. The baby makes swallowing motions for a long time after the parent leaves.  Like it was a big meal. Behind me pass a mother and three kids –a child’s voice floats above the hum of the ferry “ I want a cheeseburger and fries.”  They trot upstairs to the cafeteria.  Behind me a group of middle aged couples point out to each other the airstrips, boats, crabpots and islands to each other.

What does the world look like when humans see themselves as nature? How does our conversation about our landscape change- when we are part of it, not masters of it? How does our relationship with food change when the fruits of our planet are a part of our personal systems?  

posted by Laura Musikanski, ED of HI

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