Standing dead?

July 23, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Walking along the train tracks curving around toward the horizon, I see wounds in the woods still visible. Are these corpses among them? Was the standing water the result of the berms on which the tracks are built? Are they the cause of the decay?

Viewed from a fast-moving train, these are just the debris that flies by, no thought, less connection. If anything, we’d look out the window facing the other side, at the gleaming pond, likely stocked with trout, and, if not pristine, certainly tidy and approachable. 

Yet as I walked along the tracks, it was challenging to imagine how much of what I saw was human interaction and how much was simply the process of nature, growing and dying, business as usual. I switched back and forth between these understandings and noticed how my emotion changed based on which one sat on top at any given moment.

In truth, without more careful research we don’t deeply understand what we are looking at. We have reactions based on our history and how we feel that day, accurate or not. Perhaps it’s wise to pass judgment slowly and be willing to revisit critical conclusions frequently. 


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