Mountain Zen Den Podcast ~ Episode 36 – Connecting with Animals (Part 2)

Home / Annie Dillard / Mountain Zen Den Podcast ~ Episode 36 – Connecting with Animals (Part 2)

What would this world look like if we were the only living beings?” Not counting trees and plants of course.

No cheery, warbling birdsong, no interesting movement in the air, on the ground or in the trees. No dogs barking, squirrels or rabbits playing, deer foraging or horses or cattle grazing. No tree frogs or crickets singing in the meadows and marshes, no fish biting and jumping in the ponds, rivers and lakes, no dolphins splashing or seagulls and shorebirds feeding in the ocean… No real mystery or wonder or possibility. Just a quiet, eerie planet with maybe a bit of wind blowing over the grassless plains.

You see if there were no butterflies or bees to pollinate the flowers or birds to carry and drop seeds, if there were no coral to filter the oceans or beavers to create broad and wonderful wetlands, the world would basically whither up and turn into one vast and dull, lifeless and barren desert. A wilderness of nothingness.

All animals play important roles in our ecosystem. It’s part of the ecological balance of Nature. Each working together has its job to do, whether it be bringing out the nutrients and quality of the soil, or helping with decomposition of wastes deposited by humans and other animals.

But perhaps just as important as the ecological roles each living organism brings, is the way they help us connect with them and with each other.

The truth is, in the deepest sense, we are Nature and Nature is us. There is no separating the two. Only a false duality of an “us” and “them” mentality. We are part of the same creation, the same Universe and even the same planet. We are all basically made up of the same elements – carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, calcium and phosphorus.

This explains why there is already an underlying connection with wildlife and all thing living on planet Earth. And the realization and application of this connection can be so energizing, refreshing and healing.

Ask birdwatchers or nature photographers or even hunters, “Where do you find your bliss?”, and most of them will tell you, “Duh! Being out in nature.”

But what if you’re not a photographer, birder or hunter? What’s in it for me?

Well here’s the good news! In a word, Life.

Life means growth and growth means joy, because we were created to grow. It’s why we’re here. When you stop growing you start dying, and Nature is the best place I know to find that inner voice that leads the way.

The naturalists and writers like Henry David Thoreau, Annie Dillard and Enos Mills, who is known as the Father of Rocky Mountain National Park, had a special bond with the creatures in their sphere of influence, and wrote about them as if they were their neighbors in their own back yard.  And they were.

Why is it important that we connect with wild animals?

Listen to today’s show to learn more!






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