gratitude-a-thon 175: nature’s lessons

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A few weeks ago, during my bad weather-cation, my friend Colleen and I were sitting on the beach having our coffee, and we noticed two ant holes. I promise there wasn’t anything in our mugs except coffee, sugar and milk, but we got sort of mesmerized by these ants and their work ethic. Each one went into the hole and came back out carrying a piece of sand that sometimes looked bajillion times the size of their little bodies. It was a perfect dance of industry. Back and forth they traveled, as Colleen and I discussed their commitment and efficiency.

I was reminded of the movie Antz, which was one of my kid’s favorites. I was trying to describe it to Colleen and couldn’t remember the name (duh!) One of the big scenes is a little pep talk to the totalitarian society members. They are building something and all banding together in a ball, when one the head foreman says to the group, “Be the ball, “meaning, give in, go with it, commit.

I love that kind of “all in” effort, when people work together to achieve. But I also like the dreamers, the guys with another plan in mind, the rogue geniuses. As we watched the ants, it was clear that some would stray. I wondered if these were the creative bugs, the seekers, the Steve Jobsians, looking for a different sort of thing, or whether they simply lost their way.

As amazing as it was to see how these ants created these two new homes (which we humans could destroy in one footstep) it was even more amazing how captivated the two of us were watching a bit of nature up close and personal. It seemed such a microcosm of the world. And we both took aways some lessons. Gratitude for nature’s smallest moments. They’re all over the place, sometimes just below the surface, waiting to teach us whatever we’re willing to learn.

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