I fold restless legs underneath myself and connect more of myself to the soft red pine needles and well-trod dirt, the rest of our group in similar states of settling down. The sarcastic comment as we viewed the dark pond sticks in my mind. “We aren’t walking through THAT are we?” I think of the abundant ecosystem the same pond provides, and yet the residue it leaves making it unpleasant and unwelcoming. I imagine getting into the water and the thought of it makes me shiver.
We humans are the reality of reflection in a scummy pond, our flaws, the algae, built up over time, obscuring the connection to our source. Without the still surroundings of branch and wood we would not exist; a mirror image dependent on origin. Muddied by the ripples of war and detachment, we sometimes shake as if trying to selfishly rid nature from casting an imprint on us, as if we can be completely independent. We are small but perceive ourselves as huge. We don’t move or flow—arean absolute stuck in our ways. Our claustrophobic presence infects surroundings with untreadable mush. Our stagnant water repels animals. Once a welcoming place, the algae films over intended potential and speaks as a first impression of “gross”.
Even as young we must retain our place in the murky influence of our habitat and only escape as frogs once bias has already been absorbed. We only see one viewpoint of the nature around us and rarely care to explore into a better looking realization. If only a trench could be scraped out, to let our reflection ripple in change instead, to let us travel and truly see the beauty out there, to wash away our slime and become the clear water our fellow mammals enjoy. If only we could ebb and flow, not be pitted against each other in ownership, and work with the land.