Every once in a while, one needs to step out of your comfort zone and read something that is quite at odds with one’s usual beliefs and this is my latest attempt at that. And it was worth it.
The book has the obvious attraction that it is about Crows, my personal spiritual animal and in that sense, it is both interesting, helpful and enlightening. Most of the facts about Crows and their behavior I am already familiar with. I have actually had the experience of seeing a Crow funeral as described in the book.
The explanation of what animals and birds in particular find out urban setting convenient was quite good. We have the 4 feeders in the back yard and I rather enjoy sitting with them…when the squirrels can be kept away…that is a running battle and one we will never really win at.
The outside the comfort zone business is the constant hysteria related to Global Warming and its consequences. I’m old enough to remember when it was an Ice Age that was the big threat and have the magazine clippings to prove it. I was amused to read lately that the forecast has changed recently for the Arctic Ocean. According to the early hystericals, the Ocean should have already been ice free and all the Polar Bears wiped out as a consequence. Instead, the ice remains intact and the Bears are growing in numbers.
Now, the forecast is that it will be ice free in 2130 or 2135…don’t recall the exact date…but that was an improvement on the original/latest estimate that it would not happen until 2160 or something like that. The arrogance to believe that one can make a projection that far into the future is mind numbing….This from the same folks who cannot tell me if the snowfall today will be 1,2,3,4,5,6 or more inches.
So I kinda stepped over the doom and gloom parts of the book and enjoyed what I could.
We should all take a journey away from out comfort zone now and then…
A few items of interest that I particularly liked:
p.8 – “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” Rather simplistic in my opinion and ignores the needs of the human community…but a nice sentiment none-the-less.
p.41 – “It takes a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious.” I like that, especially since I figure that what is “obvious” is rarely so.
p.51 – From Louis Pasteur: “Chance favors the prepared mind.” Well said and very often true as the author notes
p.59 – From Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “The more ingenious and accurate our instruments, the more unsusceptible and inexpert become our organs…” I agree
and what I liked the most and which dovetails with my current work
p.65 – From Joan Halifax: “Story telling is the most ancient form of education. It is about the remembering, making and sharing of images that bind together time, nature, and people. Stories, like the sacred plants, are medicine and food come from the Earth. They remind us that we do not stand alone. Through them we live in the body of coyote and crow, tree and stone…In this way, we confirm out relationship with all creation.”
The only flaw I see in the above is that it omits the necessary connection to God.