Sunday, March 29, 2009

do others see beauty?

Yesterday it snowed all day and we would have had significant accumulation if the ground had been cold enough for the snow to have stuck. It was beautiful and set off a round of panic buying at our local grocery store. This morning I saw our barred owl neighbor in the woods. It was caught by surprise when I stepped out the door and it flew from its favorite perch about 40 feet from the wood shop door.

Do you think the beauty of a snowy day or a bright morning of sun that follows is something that is ours alone, unshared by the other species that share our planet and inhabit what's left of our wilderness?

Human beings have ways of categorizing with the purpose of marginalizing the experience of others. In our American thirteen colonies as we embarked on our journey to independence, it was decided that a slave was 3/5th a man, being lesser in intelligence and potential for joy. When Woodrow Wilson signed the Smith-Hughes Act, creating federal funding for separate schools for industrial arts, he was acting on the idea that some of us should be trained in service of the select group of liberally educated, but detached from reality scholars from the Ivies.

Some would say there is danger in Anthropomorphism, and I would say there is far greater danger in our failure to understand the common thread of life, beauty and wonder that connects us all.

When an owl takes wing on a sunny morning following a long day of falling snow, I cannot help but think that it and I are connected through the sense of beauty that surrounds us.

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