I meandered recently in a shady old growth forest of the Olympic peninsula and felt the awe of the BIG – the extent of forest, the size of the trees, the arc of time and biological process, the shaping forces of wind and temperature and water, the whole orchestral magnificence of life cycles and elements. At my feet was a world of a mesmerizing detail. Here were tiny slick mushrooms, furry banks of moss, splotchy leaves falling to the ground, insects scurrying and burrowing – vibrant pieces of the woodland orchestra.
I know the feeling of SMALL, even insignificance, in the presence of this BIG. I have wished to be more, to build with bigger blocks, to create a bigger impact, to leave a bigger footprint in this needy world. But the impressive universe of the forest is a working pile of pieces – little pieces – spent leaves, hungry decomposers, tailored enzymes, hopeful seedlings. There is a place for each, indeed a need for each. Remove one and the forest is less, and different, and moving forward into a changed future. So too for me and my kind. I should remember.