I enjoy spending hot afternoons sitting by the pond watching the dragonflies play tag. I love the way they move with acrobatic energy and then perch in utter stillness, darting off again in the blink of an eye.
My husband and I initiated this pond about 7 years ago. We had noticed an area where winter runoff waters converged and became a little stream, so we hired a nice guy with a tractor to dig us out a basin. It’s not very big as ponds go, roughly a 20′ by 30′ oval and 9 ‘ deep, but it does hold some water year-round.
I don’t remember the exact order that things arrived in. Rushes have colonized the banks in several areas and the arrowheads planted themselves and are coming on strong now. I added a Sagittaria with very pointy leaves several years ago, and it keeps to its own small clump. Frogs arrived early on. We started hearing their evening songs in the first or second winter. We added mosquito fish the first summer this basin held water. My husband planted pink waterlilies probably 4 years ago. Bullfrogs arrived about 3 years ago.
We’ve had years when a western pond turtle has made its home here. One year a king snake lived under the log bridge that crosses the overflow, and I’ve seen a California racer snake taking a swim. Raccoons used to leave tracks in the mud on the banks (until we got a few herding dogs), and a mallard duck pair have stopped in regularly during the last two springs.
But the dragonflies were here from the beginning. Perhaps they were the ones who dreamed the pond first.
There are many lives creating this pond, and yet, it has come to feel like a whole, a life unto itself. A life that I am part of. So, sometimes I wonder if the ecology of a pond is really any different from the ecology of my body. My body is made up of trillions of cells, and I hear that the bacteria living in my intestines are even more numerous than that. Then there’s all the bacteria (mostly completely beneficial) living on my skin. This body wouldn’t thrive and might not even survive without all that “outside” help.
So try this on for size:
Everything in the Universe is alive and aware. The form, scope, and content of awareness may vary in interesting ways, but nonetheless exists. Starting from the super-micro levels of quarks, photons, electrons, wave-forms, etc., each particle and wave is an aware life form. Ditto for atoms, molecules, crystals, bacteria, amoeba, fungal spores, etc. Each individual cell, even those in a multicellular organism, has its own independent life and awareness. Each rock, plant, and animal is both alive and aware. A pond or forest is the next step in “multicellular” life forms and is its own brand of alive and aware. And so it goes, from ecosystems and watersheds up to Earth as a whole. But it doesn’t stop there. Each moon, planet, comet, star, etc., is also alive and aware.
There is a fascinating book called Sun of gOd, by Gregory Sams. From it I learned that the Sun puts out tremendous amounts of radio waves. We humans use radio waves to communicate, Mr Sams notes, so why assume that it’s just noise when the Sun does it? More likely the stars are having conversations. What might they talk about? I’m sure they discuss solar and galactic weather patterns. Probably gossip about the latest black hole disappearances as well as galactic mergers. No doubt there are birth and death announcements, both stellar and planetary. But I digress.
In addition to being an individual organism, it seems likely that the Sun is akin to the heart organ for the aware entity that is this solar system. Galaxies too become whole organisms. Galactic neighborhoods may also be alive and aware organisms, and so it goes, up to the level of the universe – or the multiverse. Just as fractals go infinitely in every direction, so does this pattern of life and awareness.
The idea is that just as your awareness/consciousness brings (hopefully!) order and form to your life and your experience, so too at every level of size a corresponding awareness brings order and form and shapes the patterns through which energy flows. Each body is a mind. Each bodymind is composed of an essentially infinite number of smaller bodyminds and is also part of an essentially infinite number of larger bodyminds.
Think about it.
Did you already know all that?
Does this fractal, bodymind idea change anything for you?
Does it change your relationship with your garden?