Nature…red in tooth and claw

A client came in for her haircut yesterday, and she was not her usual cheerful self. She told me she was sad…mourning the loss of five owlets that they had been watching grow and thrive in a tree on their property. Some critter had climbed the tree and snatched all five from their nest. Now there were none.  And they had listened to the parent owls call in despair for their babies all night. Her heart was broken. I thought about her, and the owls, all night.

Mother Nature is a bitch that way! We love the ocelots, the tigers, the lions… but they have to eat. If only it didn’t have to be that pretty zebra or that graceful gazelle! 

We live in cities and suburbs these days, where the wild things are not. We are mostly out-of-touch with Mother Nature, and mostly like it that way.  There are occasional interactions with wild things, like the possum that comes on your porch to eat your cat’s crunchies. Or that racoon that figures out how to open your trash can lid and makes a big mess. Out where I live we have racoons, skunks, snakes, owls, hawks, coyotes and roaming herds of deer. I’m sure there are other things I neither see nor hear.

A few years ago I heard a racket in the back yard and went to see what it was all about. A baby jay who couldn’t fly yet, had tried and failed, and was hopping around on the ground. He had a cheering squad on the fence (at least I assumed they were giving him advice and encouragement….anthropmorphization on my part, I’m sure) squawking loudly and standing by.  Bluejay is down!This went on all day. I worried what would happen that night since it was supposed to rain. Would he get under the leaves in the garden? Would he figure out how to fly?  I went out with my coffee at first light.  He didn’t make it. I buried him under a canna that had lovely red flowers and marked him with a smooth blue river rock.  We’ve tried to rescue many things since we’ve been here. Mostly to no avail. And our hearts break a little more with each loss. Our biggest loss came when our “outdoor cat,” a huge, old, fluffy black-and-white male that loved nothing more than hanging out outside, became a bobcat’s dinner one night. (Well, he may have loved murdering squirrels more, but we discouraged him in that!)  There were only some tufts of his fur scattered about the lawn as evidence, and just like my client, I racked my brain for what would have done this…the loss didn’t make sense to me. In Mother Nature’s big-picture I guess it did.  We are still pet-free after two years. It’s not that I worry about getting attached again, but we enjoy how clean the house is and how chic it looks with the pillows and throws right where you artfully threw them. And how much less often it requires vacuuming  without dustbunnies and fur everywhere!

We should all keep putting ourselves out there. We should all keep loving even though we know our heart will always be broken in the end…by death. Love is it’s own reward. Do it for the sake of loving…expecting nothing in return.  It’s sexy-as-hell to throw yourself wholeheartedly into it! The planet needs your love, as does every living creature on it.


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