Nature is taking a break while humans are running for cover.
In the west, over the past three decades the pine trees have been devoured by pine beetles. The forest is filled with dead trees that change the color of the canvas from deep green to dead maroon. A lightning strike, a tossed cigarette, a careless spark will set millions of acres ablaze. Our forests have been dying.
Twenty miles down the highway from me the county imposed a plant quarantine to contain the ash borer beetle. Now, six years later, the quarantine of transporting wood (think about the times we’ve loaded firewood from our backyard to our mountain camping spot…) has been lifted as the beetle has spread to other counties. Authorities knew from past experience that it could not be stopped, only contained. Sort of like the coronavirus.
For the time being, we’ve turned our attention away from nature and are staying inside, keeping our distance from man and beast. Well, maybe not from beasts but certainly from others.
While we (humans) are taking a break from all things social (work, school, entertainment, restaurants, fitness centers, travel, shopping, concerts, theaters, sports and gatherings of any kind) – nature is blossoming.
The air is cleaner, waterways are clearer, fish are multiplying, highways are empty, smokestacks don’t smoke, fewer planes are flying so less sound from the sky, cruise ships are not sailing so less pollution in the oceans, oil rigs have stopped fracking, and so much more.
Musicians are making more music.
Writers are writing.
Cooks are creating.
Weavers are weaving.
Bloggers are blogging.
Dog walkers have been replaced by dog owners.
Babysitters, nannies, and preschools have been replaced by mom and dad.
Yards are tended to by homeowners instead of lawn companies.
Even in the mist of this disruption, there is some good. In fact, there is much good.
There are fewer car accidents.
We are practicing better hygiene.
Family meals are a ‘thing’ again.
Conversations are real.
Because of the Covid-19 outbreak, humans are taking a pause right now. We have the time now to decide who we are, who we want to be and what difference we want to make in the world.
Mary Oliver said it best when she wrote, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Nature is smiling.