Today when visiting Earnest I decided it would be interesting to look at the world from his view as opposed to viewing him.
When I first arrived at Earnest’s location I noticed he seemed a bit glum. I could empathize with him in regards to myself sometimes feeling a little glum when it rains. As it was slightly wet on the ground nearby, I put my back against Earnest and my bum on the dry ground at his feet. As soon as I sat down my entire perspective was radically different.
Aside from my eye level changing to a lower height, I immediately felt closer to my surroundings. I could no longer see the road or any cars thanks to the concrete wall nestled between Earnest and the road. I could still hear all of the human activity, but simply by NOT seeing it made it much less invasive to the senses. Now my view consisted entirely of Morgan Field and its wonderful abundance of plant life. Although I often wonder if we could have more plant/animal life around campus.
The biggest change I noticed by sitting with Earnest was my increased sensitivity to smell. Immediately I was able to smell more of my surroundings, including the grass, the dirt, and also Earnest himself. He had a mild musty scent with a slight tang that I had never sensed before.
The most obvious change resulting from my observation was the increased frequency with which I saw squirrels. As I watched them scurry from this tree to that tree, I wonder why they have to travel so far between trees. I understand that Dickinson College probably finds large, full-grown, spaced-out trees surrounded by grass, to be much more aesthetically pleasing than a dense forest with little to no patches of grass. However, I also question whether that stance is what’s best for Dickinson College and ALL of its inhabitants. Would students be happier if Morgan Field had closer to 500 trees as opposed to the approximately 100 trees currently dotted around the area?
Not only would students/faculty potentially find it more pleasurable, but the wildlife population would see a huge improvement. With more trees comes more bugs/insects, more bugs leads to an increase in bird life, more birds means more seed dispersal which leads to greater overall beauty. On top of that, more trees mean more nuts which means more squirrels, which also leads to greater seed dispersal. We also all know that trees are our most important carbon sink (meaning it takes CO2 out of the atmosphere). In a town like Carlisle, where the average air quality is extremely low, trees such as Earnest should be given many more neighbors.
As I sit here imagining a glorious forest rising up around me, engulfing everything in beautiful biodiversity, I feel sad. Sad because I know that this will never happen, not just at Dickinson, but everywhere humans inhabit. This is due to man-kinds long history of tree removal, sometimes simply because they were inconvenient to us. We do not seem to value plant-life/trees that do not offer us an immediate ‘good’. While they are the most important carbon sink on the planet, we continue to cut them down at an unprecedented rate.
As soon as I stand back up my imaginary forest falls away before my eyes. Am I a wishful thinker? Or am I a realistic thinker ahead of the curve ball? Only time will tell whether deforestation continues to occur, or whether we will come to our sense and implement a new regime promoting reforestation.
A 360 view,
I have of you.
Magnanimous is your presence,
alas I sense a severance.
Between my friends and yours,
i’ll admit, we are the cause.
We plunder and pillage,
forever expanding our village.
All of Mother Earth’s creation,
a long forgotten sensation.
I have hope for us still,
that nature we won’t kill.
We need a change of system,
I just hope that they listen.