Friday, December 12, 2008

A sense of things to come

Peruvian Sheep.

I was listening to Metro Connection on today while I was making lunch and was fascinated by the show they were doing on how many animals survive during the winter. Naturalist Mark Garland talked about how local aquatic frogs will spend the season in a state of near death as they float about in frigid water. They can only survive because their metabolism has slowed down enough that they can survive off of stored body mass and the oxygen expelled from the muddy floor.  When it gets warm again they need to act quickly to find food sources and restore their energy. Unfortunately, many frogs don't survive this impressive hibernation, yet year after year enough do emerge from Winter that the population continues. 

I hate being cold and usually feel a bit down as soon as it starts getting dark before 5 pm. However, this year it's helping me to learn more about our life cycles. The more I learn, the more I think that it's really important to have this time when most of the world slows off and dies down. Nature is forcing us all to take a break and save up our energy reserves for the coming Spring.  It's like, universal permission to sleep-in. 

This also makes sense when I start thinking about the economy.  In the United States we are used to continued growth all the time, even if it means pushing ourselves past our limits of health and safety. As scary as this economic turn is, it seems really natural to me that our economic cycles would follow an up and down pattern. Of course, this is more "down" than than anyone would want, but maybe if we can utilize this time to slow down and relearn about the how to enjoy a simplier life, the next cycle won't be so extreme. Or at least we will find the faith in ourselves that we can weather a hard time and still emerge to start a new season. 



DamselFish said...

I agree that everything in life needs ups and downs. Economic downs are a good time for innovating and figuring out what is really important and getting rid of the crap.

Have a lovely birthday and a fantastic year.

Mia said...

I thought you might find this article about animals, life and the intersection of the two interesting. I sure did!