This is a land where you can walk and sink up to your ankles in muck (yes, even in your backyard). There are bugs aplenty and the skeeters will swarm you to suck your blood away. There are coral snakes that wait for you to walk under their branch and then bite you. Moccasins will chase you in the waterways. Gators will try to knock your little boat over in order to have a snack.
Just another day in the swamps.
It’s been decades since I lived through those experiences. I don’t dare take those I love and respect into those places again. I grew up in these magical realms, they didn’t. (you don’t let your hands drag in the water from a canoe in the bayou… might wind up losing them)
The plethora of Life is so extensive. Move some vegetation and there is yet another world. Everything is alive, just like in the NW forests. You feel the pulse. You also begin to realize that you are not the ne plus ultra… you are just a part of the Whole, and a small part at that.
I’ve been half-way around the World twice. I’ve wandered through jungles and run into many strange critters (the Monitor lizard freaked me out). Swam in many different waters and played with the dolphins, but the the grey whale surfacing next to me to breathe was a shock. The Teton Wilderness during a blizzard taught me to respect the Bull Moose and his mate’s territory as we were trying to set up an emergency camp to survive the storm (still feel the effects of frostbite to this day).
Have also faced down bears and wolves. (not a great cat though, and that’s okay by me)
Though I love so many places, I still love my swamps. Don’t visit anymore, but I know they are there… Life unbridled unlike the measured form of existence that is my lot.
This is why I am so concerned about the BP spill. I don’t want that part of me to die off, to be killed by the hubris of Humanity. We are only a small part of Life.
This World is not ours to rape and pillage. We as Humans must learn to see the “Other” as having a right to BE, to exist, even if it vexes Human desires. It’s their World too.
I’m doing my best to walk softly on the great blue spaceship that everything inhabits. My life has no value without the presence of the “Others”.
Human culture must change. After all, we are just another species of animals sharing the space.