It was freezing cold on Saturday (minus 15 Celsius) and only the tip of the knoll on the right side of the path was touched by the morning sun. Winter beauty is exquisite around these parts and every time we take ourselves to a trail inside a city park like Peterson Creek or outside town, we’re reminded of it. How lucky we are!
The Rose Hill area, as that is where the morning found us, was teeming with animals tracks of all kinds, all recorded in the fresh snow, nature’s advent calendar that provides reassurance we’re on the right track as far as animal happenings in winter are concerned. Sprinkle enough imaginative power over the intersecting tiny mouse tracks surrounded by coyote tracks and you’ve got yourself a story that may seem small and insignificant in the context of life as a whole, yet the part it plays in the whole circle we’re quick to underestimate or forget aboutis an awfully significant one.
Deer tracks zig-zagged from one side of the path to the other, ruffled snow and rushed trajectories told of feet dashing this way and that in early morning hours… just picture for a few seconds the busyness of it all when no one is around but the scythe-shaped moon (Friday night’s moon was beautiful by the way.) One is bound to feel adequately small and ant-in-an-anthill-like when nature reveals itself wondrous and mysterious. That we ought to oblige and put our best foot forward as often as we can is my redundant thought.
At a time when we make wishes (to an imaginary Santa, but still,) mine has to do solely with protecting the world around, so we can ultimately protect ourselves. The recent and much awaited decision of the BC government to ban the grizzly hunt speaks towards that.
Let’s hope more will be done for the caribou, as the numbers of these iconic animals are dropping to extinction levels in many parts of Canada, which in turn will see us drop the unbecoming ways we dispose of wolves and instead see the role they play in keeping our world balanced, and adopt better solutions that will have less of us involved in reaching the balance and more of them and their wild ways. Ditto for wild salmon whose future is precarious due to the questionable politics of fish farming along the coast. The list of the animals whose fate is troublesome is too long, even by the standards of the most optimist among us.
If we are to take to heart all the sad stories we kept hearing all year long and see happier ones in the years to come, we must change the way we do things. No magic is involved, simply bettering our ways and reprioritize for the greater good. I know what you’re thinking ‘Oh, the greater good, that stick in our happy wheels…’ yet whether we admit it or not, that is where it’s at I believe.
In the human world, things have not been particularly bright and jolly either. There are a few humanitarian crises around the world that the mere mention of makes many shudder or simply look the other way. Journalists and nongovernmental humanitarian groups who have been documenting and jumping to help and spread the word are reporting tragic stories that we on this side of the world get a warning for, due to the shocking nature of the content.
To have the luxury of choosing whether to listen or watch stories with a disturbing content, well, that is, as far as I am concerned, an obligation. That we lend an ear (and the whole heart) to making things better in our own community (like the people in our very own town by donating to the Christmas Cheer for example, or some raised money for the homeless youth, to name but two of the great heartful local initiatives,) and father still (many of the news stories that bring tears to our eyes are still very much unfolding long after we have moved on to the next batch of news.)
The greater good, which some may be tempted to dismiss as unrealistic and downright annoying due to the way it obliges to reconsider needs and wants, I wish for that to become the background of our actions, and the path we choose to engage on, so that next year by this time we can see the surrounding world painted in brighter tones. We have the palette of better brighter tones, it’s within reach, all we need is to commit to using it.
A better world needs a little bit of goodness from everyone. More so from everyone who have a lot to spare, not just materially speaking. To not have wars, natural disasters and/or other major tragedies that create panic and wreck lives, often in mere seconds and last for a long time, often for years, that is a gift that has to be recognized and treasured. For it’s both precious and fragile.
Much like our world. People, animals, and the environment, if only we acknowledge as a gift, we will be bound to make it last. As it should. As it can. On Christmas Day and beyond, I wish for that and I am grateful if you join me.