As I grow older I am more aware of how precious the moments in each day have become. I also find myself seeking more quiet time in nature and less time surrounded by the noise and mindlessness that technology has brought into our lives. As winter approaches I look forward to the period of rest that it brings both my body and my soul. And yet, once again, I find myself defending the deer and wildlife that I love. Trying to explain to others that are so far removed from nature why these creatures have a right to co-exist with us.
In the wonderful words of Mary Oliver “The man who does not know nature, who does not walk under the leaves as his own roof, is partial and wounded. I would say that there exist a thousand unbreakable links between each of us and everything else, and that our dignity and our chances are one. The farthest star and the mud at our feet are a family; and there is no decency or sense in honoring one thing, or a few things and then closing the list. The pine tree, the deer, the river and ourselves- we are at risk together, or we are on our way to a sustainable world together. We are each other’s destiny.”
Nature and wildlife fill me with a quiet contentment that I cannot find anywhere else. They not only provide peace and tranquility, but they also stimulate my senses that have become dulled by society. Our relationship with wildlife allows us the opportunity to share life experiences from a perspective much different from our own. I have found, that over the years of wildlife rehabilitation, we also share common emotions with animals. I have witnessed the bond and love that exists between mothers and their offspring, siblings and even individuals raised together in a family unit. I have observed the grief that animals feel when a loved one is lost. I have laughed as I watched fawns playing together in a puddle, or young squirrels playing tag on a tree. The enrichment and blessings that nature and wildlife provide cannot be measured in terms of economic value. They are quite simply the hope for saving both our sanity and our souls.