By the Pond | Six Minute Sunday

The trees stood tall on the sides of the pond. The autumn evening was fading and the nightly chorus of animals began to sing.

As the amber-masked warmth settled on the pond. A seemingly quiet place began to come alive. At first, it was the frogs and crickets in the grass, then it was a faint owl way off in the woods. The deer came down to the pond to drink, and they crept as though trying to be invisible. A little red fox scurried along the creek bank when I approached. Even though I was there to admire the timid creatures of the night, I felt the fear of the animals that surrounded me. I could tell that I was more feared than the bear that had laid down in the cave just a few yards from the pond's rocky beach.

As I sat on a rock, admiring the deer and the creatures that teemed around this pond, I felt like I was sitting in a hole in the middle of woods. It seemed that as I moved, the animals would scurry off to hide from the approaching danger. As I sat on this rock, even the crickets and the frogs stayed away. I was the intruder in their home. I welcomed myself as if it was my own home.

I was as innocent as the deer that cautiously watched me as they drank, yet I felt as though I was the one who had committed the great atrocities against these creatures. I have never chopped down a tree, yet these woods that were once logged were logged by me. I have never hunted deer, yet bullet scars on a doe's hind leg came from me. I have never burned coal, yet the smog that choked the songbirds came from me.

While we pride ourselves in protecting the earth and these woods, yet we are all guilty of our damage to them. We welcomed ourselves in their homes and instead of being behaved guests, we raged and destroyed what didn't belong to us. We are mere passersby in a world that belongs to none of us. We visit for less than 100 years, yet our impact lasts for millennia. When will we grasp that we don't belong. When will we grasp that this is not just our home. This is their home and we are mere visitors.