Publisher’s Corner: Linked For Life!

Our grandson Jackson turned two recently. Now that he’s around other kids a lot, we are teaching him to share. Sharing, what a concept. We are all taught at a young age to share and yet it’s something we as adults find difficult to do. And I am not talking about the obvious political issues like wealth distribution and tax breaks for the rich. That’s for another column. I am talking about sharing the planet with each and every living creature that “shares” our environs. A stroll through our yard illustrates my point. A praying mantis waits patiently on a purple coneflower for an unwitting aphid to become a savory supper. A ruby throated hummingbird hovers around our blue spruce hoping to snatch a bead of sap from the tips of the new growth. Dragonflies dance around our front yard at dusk plucking mosquitoes from the moist air. Dozens of honeybees and bumblebees suck the sweet nectar from the blooms of the spiny blue thistle. Chipmunks scurry around our fieldstone garden wall carrying acorns they will stash in their burrows. A bright red Cardinal stops and rests on one of our wrought iron porch chairs and soaks up the sun. A pair of house finches dart in and out from underneath our front porch overhang looking for a good place to nest. Too much traffic here they decide, but they come back every year for a look. Niki scooped up a tiny toad who was wandering too close to our front walk and risked being stepped on, so she rushed him off to the safety of the nearby garden bed. Each evening as we sip our beverages on the front porch, we look to the sky watching our neighborhood hawk swoop and glide, often with prey in its talons. Later with a quicker, darting flight from the large oak across the street, an owl makes its way back to its nest next to our house. We hear its eery hoot from time to time. So haunting and yet so beautiful. And when dusk comes and the sun has fallen behind the trees to the west, the bats come out to finish off whatever mosquitoes and other little natty bugs might be ripe for the picking. With all the rain, the earthworms have had to come out of the ground and the Robins have been busy. The spiders and crickets are numerous this year. There seems to be a web everywhere. And the mice and voles meet their match when our cat Smokey is out on the prowl. Not as many rabbits this season to nibble on Niki’s hostas. But the squirrels, yes the squirrels… I am sharing many of my tomatoes with the little thieves. The cage and netting I put up as a deterant this year has only become their Rubik’s Cube. They love the challenge. Each day a new tomato is gone or nibbled and left on the ground. I just tell myself it’s all about sharing. They are all God’s creatures. We share our habitat with so many others, some willingly and some not. But we do share, and that gives me pause to realize the responsibility. And our yard is just a microcosm of the planet. We need to live organically. All life relies on each other. Symbiosis. It’s a chain of responsibility. And when that chain is broken, the balance of nature gets tilted and jilted. And we are part of that chain. Linked for life!

Sharing with Squirrels,
J.B. Lester; Publisher