BY TERESA MALLAM
To put it mildly, understated, all is not right with our world and animals in nature can surely sense that. This worldwide scourge is not like the fires, floods, famine and drought they run from and hide to survive. But still they must be puzzled:
Where have all the humans gone?
There is a CBC story this week with global reports and photos of wildlife – feral deer, Kasmir goats water birds and even a puma – wandering into well populated areas around the world .They do appear bewildered (but I think content), to have the place mostly to themselves.
Freedom to roam, at last – as before.
I grew up in a time when for fun and curiosity, my brother and I rode our bikes to a nearby pond and gathered up tadpoles in a jar, careful to bring along some natural habitat to ensure survival.
Every day, we raced home from school, eager to get back to our own homegrown science project, watching in awe as tiny tails and legs appeared on our half dozen captives. .
My favourite was one with a fourth leg that didn’t fully develop. As soon as Tripod and the others were able jumpers, we reluctantly returned them to the pond, because that’s where they belonged.
With children home from school because of COVID-19, and when they can go outdoors, it would be good to get them in tune with nature again, and maybe even take photos with their phones instead of playing games.
How illustrative of the song lyrics, “There’s got to be a morning after” when they can watch to see the sun still rises, that winter changes into spring, and the animals in nature still behave as they always did.
It promises I think, to make this whole surreal journey into the vast unknown not so scary and its ending maybe not as catastrophic.
In my backyard, snow is melting, sun is shining, the robins are building nests, Canada Geese are landing on the banks of the Fraser River. Today, the doe who visits my yard year round, came and showed off her two fawns.
There’s a beautiful buck who struts around my neighbourhood. He has just one antler, a physical flaw that only endears him to me – No, I don’t call him Unihorn. I am older, wiser since my tadpole days, so no more shaming.
But l it is eerily quiet on my street, without the sound of children laughing on their way home from school. They are decades too young to remember a folk song by Peter, Paul and Mary “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” released in 1964 in protest of the Vietnam War.
The new coronavirus pandemic has been called an all out war. And we are in the thick of it. They say too it’s a different kind of war, one in which we can’t see our enemy. I view them the same in this respect: COVID-19 has us all guessing just how long this war will last, and how much loss we will suffer in its wake.
Anxiety weighs down the human heart but a good word cheers it up. Proverbs 12:25 NRS