The world needs people who can transform unwanted, useless byproducts into something amazing and useful. It is easy to tear down and destroy but it takes real skill and determination to build something awesome. Our quick fix prescription society produces an unbelievable amount of waste. We need to be smarter and more creative about reducing, reusing, and recycling. Mother Nature teaches us many things and never fails to exemplify how we should behave. We need to be more like silk worms. These amazing creatures turn leaves into silk. This is what some volunteers recently did and it completely blew me away.
No, they did not consume leaves and then produce some unimaginably smooth soft fabric, but they did perform an equally amazing feat. We have been building a new trail on our most recently acquired preserve, Clover Valley, and have made terrific progress. When I am working with volunteers I am mindful to share with them the big picture and talk about how the Land Trust works. I walked the trail volunteers down to the end of the trail to show them where we would be building. When we got to the end of the trail one of the volunteers said, “This is ugly.” I thanked them for their input and shared that this was what we had to work with and this is where we are going to take the trail to. I went off and continued working on a different section of the trail and didn’t think much about it. I can admit that I get carried away and swept up in my work. An hour or two had gone by and I realized that I hadn’t made my rounds in a little while. I walked down to the end of trail and it looked totally different! I was blown away by what these volunteers accomplished. They took it upon themselves to create an entirely different end of the trail. They totally changed the trail users’ experience and created a much better destination than I ever could’ve imagined. They took something that was covered in blackberries, vines, and invasive species and turned it into a wonderful access trail down to South Wolf Creek. I had no idea they were going to create that access point or that it was even possible.
These trail volunteers channeled their inner silk worms. They took something gross and ugly and turned it into an unbelievable destination along the creek. They built something special to share with other people, a giveaway to their community, a special spiritual place where people can sit and listen to Mother Nature. I challenge you to look at your life and see if there are examples when you have embodied the silk worm. I challenge you to do it again; over and over until it becomes commonplace. If you have never turned nothing into something, today is a good day to start. If we all act a little more like the Bombyx mori, the world will be a much better place.
~ Trails Coordinator, Shaun Clarke