“Living beings are referred to as subjects, never as objects, and personhood is extended to all who breathe and some who don’t. I greet the silent boulder people with the same respect as I do the talkative chickadees,” writes Robin Wall Kimmerer. What happens when the world falls silent? When all falls still? Before this pandemic, we bustled and hustled through life, never looking further than our own field of vision we defined as our world. Our heads were in our phones, our gazes to the ground, untouched by life’s worst. The minute we were yanked from the routine comfort, and into the face of danger, we lost it. Each of us has become numb, terrified, scared, and more awake.
There are the trees to whisper secrets to and the water to awaken your memories, the birds to sing you awake, the frogs to sing you to sleep, the breeze to tickle your face during the day, and the fire to brighten your face in the dark of night. As humanity became isolated, we learned to cherish these things, some we may have never known. These are the fruits of life and they give themselves to us. Humankind has to remember its place in this shared beauty of the world.