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Community Green: Where are the answers?

Pamela Noel

Special to Plumas News




She gazed at the tree, noticing most of the leaves had already fallen.  A few were still hanging on.  Why do those few continue to hang on, she wondered.  The others have clearly let go of their branch position. And where does that leave the few that are still attached?  Are they aware that their time is almost over…that they too, will soon disappear into history, becoming part of the natural cycle of compost…and soil again?


She felt an affinity for those leaves.  But, she turned her thoughts to some of her older human friends who had already joined the march into history…no longer holding their places on the planet.  Where were they now, she wondered. Am I just holding on too, like those leaves?  Is there a reason I am still here?


With the current state of the planet, she had been asking more questions like these.  Answers were not easily forthcoming, but she would attempt to “think them into being,” regardless.  Sometimes she had a difficult time examining the “usefulness” of her existence here.  Being raised with the sense of accomplishment and usefulness was a difficult habit to shake.  Her mother always told her to “leave a situation better than when you found it.”  How can I do that now, she continued to ask herself…when everything seems to be in such a chaotic state.  I barely feel grounded myself.


Not one to give up, however, she decided to just sit with the feeling.  I am a 5 out of 10 today, she thought.  Just because I am not feeling great, doesn’t mean I have to do anything about it.  This will shift I hope, although lately, change seemed to bring the numbers down the scale, instead of up towards 10 that she used to enjoy.


She had always been a creative person, but her desire to create seemed to elude her.  She would set up her easel, and then sit back down, feeling a deep fatigue that seemed far greater than her usual and occasional need to relax.  She felt a sense of ennui or just “slogging through mud.”


Wandering into her back yard, she sunk into a chair.  A nearby trumpet vine beckoned a passing hummingbird.  Poking his beak into the flower, he repeated the procedure with a dozen of the orange floral trumpets.  Perching atop the handle of a garden fork, he paused, seeming to look at her, tilting his head to one side.  His ruby topped head, and green and blue back, reflected bejeweled colors, reminding her of the stained glass windows of her childhood church.  Continuing to sit before her, she could see the tiny heart beating in its chest, barely lifting its feathers with each pulse.  It must take a lot of nectar to keep this little being going, she mused.  As soon as this thought freed itself, the bird shot up and away…maybe to feed its young…maybe to continue its search in another shrub. Watching this small being go about his day, brought a smile to her face.  She realized that stopping to watch what was nearby, slowed down the chatter inside that reflected the outward chaos seeming to swirl about her town, state, and even the entire planet.


We may not have answers for many of the existential questions that face us.  We may not know the best way to walk through the chaos and confusion.  Some of the answers however, may lie close at hand.  The creatures out our doors, windows, or on our laps have an innate wisdom that seems to keep them going.  They don’t obsess about tomorrow, next year, or spend time worrying about who thinks what about whom.  They just go about their business, sipping the nectar, lapping the milk, flitting about, or prowling here and there.  They are content to do what their inner nature directs.  And though we have a different intellectual capacity as humans, and tend to judge this as “higher intelligence,” that may sometimes be “in question.”  Perhaps we need to spend a little more time, learning from those around us, who benefit by not being as “smart.”  Maybe that is the truly intelligent way to be in this present world.

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