A friend of mine said it and we both became small:
We are a species.
Yes, like a Songbird or a grove of great Oaks.
Upright, even-toothed descendants of the other species that didn’t make it, one of the most pervasive, diverse, and dominant species in existence, occupying all spaces, representing all emotions, constantly introducing new methods to reshape and reinvent the minerals we’re stuck with.
We often forget how connected we are.
When one of us dies, many around that one die a little bit too. We wilt because we’re rooted in the same soil and, therefore, susceptible to the same poisons.
Seeded in that connection, across continents and conversations, is our unique prowess, our exponential ingenuity, our robust love, and our downfall.
The timeline is not clear but, blessed with consciousness, compassion, and opposable thumbs, we can manipulate its length. Like the songbird, we make music, but we don’t just chirp notes, we write symphonies. We don’t just build nests, we design them.
We have access to Fate. That’s right. We can call up the composer of this precious life and put in our vote to change the tempo, to add more bars.
And like the Oak at the onset of winter, sometimes silence amongst the chorus is more important than individual growth. Sometimes dormancy is called for, to store our sugar, to let gravity pull our collective vibrancy down into our roots, supple, resilient, and delicately intertwined, so we can outwit and outlast the poison.