And then I notice the ground squirrels chasing each other through the grasses; the new chickaree, still bright-eyed, looking at me, trying to figure out what or who I am and how I fit into this otherwise known world; see the hummingbirds flying straight up and then plunging back down; the hairy woodpecker climbing the dead aspen, rapping on the wood and looking for insects. Or the rabbits, who on average live for only a year—being on the bottom of the mammalian food chain—and yet bound with such joy and eat tufts of grass with such comical looks on their faces that I can’t help from laughing.
Nor are the birds encumbered by thoughts of the world ending but do what they always did: comb the trees for insects and the thistles for seeds, and sing as lustily as ever. On the ground, the chipmunks and ground squirrels run with abandon, as if they had not a care in the world. Although now the chickarees, the only squirrel that doesn’t hibernate, are busy, with a fierce self-determination, rounding up pine cones and taking them to some secret stash to feed on once the snows come.
Nature takes what it’s given, doesn’t question it, doesn’t whine, doesn’t throw dramatic fits about the end of the world. So, like the animals, I will be hopeful. I will be content with what I have—this day, this sky, these trees blowing so gently in the wind, these animals—especially these animals.