When I was a little girl, I found a mouse in my front lawn that had been attacked. It had a broken leg, and while I didn't know how to fix it, my 7-year-old self thought it was a good idea to gently place it in a little glass jar with a piece of cheese. Obviously, when I checked on the mouse the next day, it had met its maker, and I was really sad. Why, I asked myself, could I not have saved the mouse?
few years later, while walking after the rain, I stopped to toss a few
worms off the sidewalk so they wouldn't be squished. I imagine that some
of them drowned in the still-soaking grass, but perhaps a few made it. I
felt like I'd done my part to help the worms out.
an adult, I look back and realize two things. First, that the mouse
should have gone to someone who knew what they were doing if I planned
to save it, and second, that nature doesn't really need that kind of
saving in the first place. With maturity comes the realization that
nature gives and takes, and that it has to be that way. It's how it
Yesterday I had a 3-hour break from
class, and because of some difficult things going on in my life at the
moment, I really just wanted to find a quiet spot to be alone. So I
walked to Strathcona Park, which is about 15 minutes from campus and
right by the Rideau River. I sat on a bench by the water and reflected
on the things in my life that need to be fixed, but also on the beauty
and fragility of nature. While I sat there, a wasp fell out of the tree
above me and narrowly missed my head. When I looked on the ground where
it landed, I realized it had a caddisfly with it. The wasp was attacking
it, and the caddisfly was doing its best to get away. As I watched
them, my girlish desire to save the fly was overtaken by my fascination
with what was going on. After all, who am I to interfere? Who am I to
decide which creature will survive this? In the end, the wasp managed to
get the caddisfly's wings off, chew off its head, and fly away with the
rest of its body nestled between its legs.
as it is, this experience gave me a whole new understanding of nature.
I'm a city girl. I grew up in the city, scared of insects, and most
especially having no love lost for insects that can sting you. But the
wasp won my respect. It took on an insect quite a bit larger than it and
it won. And above and beyond that, it had no interest in hurting me (as
I had originally feared). It left me alone because I showed it the same
Next time I see a wasp, instead of freaking out, I feel I may actually take my hat off to him!