I watched the first episode of Our Planet yesterday evening whilst eating the first salad I’ve had in months (why I avoid eating leaves puzzles me – I so enjoy them when I do). David Attenborough narrates and I’ve had a bit of a crush on him for years (and he’s been around for ages). His eloquent delivery and slightly scruffy intellectual aristocracy enchants me.
As I munched my way through wild rocket it struck me how what unfolds on the screen is nothing like the life is a dream if you dream it right and let love lead the way outlook and practices touted today.
In the natural world –
- if you can’t run as fast as the rest of the herd you are killed and eaten
- you compete shamelessly and fiercely with other horny males to get a female to capitulate and mate
- you lure creatures to you under false pretenses and use them mercilessly for your own ends (plants are big offenders)
- you suffer because of the stupidity of others (humans)
- the food chain is real and that’s just the way it is
- you’re born to die if you’re a flamingo chick crossing a salt pan in search of water and you get too much salt encrusted on your little legs
It’s alarming, sobering, cynical and not at all reassuring.
But nature is also delightful and funny and feisty and dramatic. It’s exhilarating and awesome and breathtaking and humbling and startling.
A bird performs a dance in an attempt to get it on with a circumspect and picky female. He looks like he’s break-dancing on the branch; she concludes he’s a nutter and politely says No thanks and turns her bland feathers to survey the competition. How crushing and comical.
There is much of nature in us and much of us in nature.
We’re not only fluffy bunnies and princess ponies and soft puppies. We’re wolves and venus flytraps and clingy, choking vines. We’re parasites and piranhas and pretty primroses.
We’re one big crazy, clumsy, interconnected collective.
Here is my bit of me in nature and nature in me.
I’m sharing the juicy details of my succulent success because:
I promised I would when I replied to a comment after documenting my unambitious project in Can’t Fix It?
it inspires me to approach life with realism, hope, strength, endurance, tenacity and joy (when it rains and all is green and fleshy and fresh) – and I like to think it’ll do the same for you today 🙂
Plants, like people, enjoy company. Plants, like people, aim to thrive. Plants, like people, want their own space. Plants, like people, stretch to survive. Succulents rock because they can live in digs or alone in a shed. Give them sunshine and a pinch of soil and they give it their best shot; uncomplaining, undemanding, mind-boggling stoicism are trademarks of the succulent personality
Can you see the progress? My family of succulents was substantially enlarged by a friend of my youngest son. She gifted me a whole lot of babies. They are growing up plump and content in cups or rustic tins, nestled between the grown-ups and teenagers. I never water. I say hello every day and shuffle them around now and then if I sense they’d appreciate a different conversation over the rim of their containers
A chipped cup grows on you. The policy is: if a mug breaks I mend it and move it outside. The reincarnation, I imagine, is better than being in hot water after each use, or having hot water in you. The same fate awaits mugs or cups that have lost their joie de vivre for me – they go to a pleasant afterlife as succulent holders and give anything I pop in them a warm hug and pleasing decor. I did cheat recently. I bought two inexpensive mugs; I just didn’t have enough rooms for all my babies
Thank you for dropping by and saying Hi. I hope to see you again soon. Bye-bye.