Life is all about carrying on in the face of incredible obstacles. I might think of the megavertebrates -- rhinos in single digits, elephants hiding their tusks, cheetahs and zebras losing room to run, gorilla families dwindling. Animals have taught me much in my life. Or, I could mull over what my son tells me about from his studies in astronomy: black holes and red giants, events in light years and galaxies that extend his own dreams to the ends of infinity. Big ideas for the new year.
But as the new year approaches, I think of ants. Amazing Costa Rican leaf-cutter ants, resonating with their own version of wild health. They do what they are meant to do. I see health in their own form of tenacity, loyalty, productivity, altruism, tenderness, and I believe even an ant form of hope and love.
Each leaf-carrying ant also carries, for miles, an ant friend on the leaf, who is preparing the leaf for cultivation, and will also defend the line if needed. How they learned, why they chose this method to survive, and what makes them keep going are still a mystery to us all. They continue on, over, under, through and around. They get there.
Watch this ant-trail video, each ant passing by with its own green sail propelling them forward. Each leaf inhabited by a single passenger as well. I imagine the faith they must have in doing what they can to fulfill their tiny role on earth.
Small and large, everyone wants a reason for what we do. To know that our future is worth traveling to and where we've been might help get us there. We are all on a path together, and maybe we can't see over the next rock or tree root, but we are going there just the same.
Travel on, hope, love and dream big. We are all carrying each other on this planet.
Have a happy, wildly-healthy New Year!
For more by Barbara E. Royal, D.V.M., click here.
For more on New Year's 2013, click here.