He had the genius to make sense of unseen nature and at the same time give amazing insights into the known…. us! Albert Einstein was, like each of us, a complicated person who was able to share his wisdom in uncomplicated terms so all of us could benefit. His wisdom appeared to me as I read today, at the beginning of the chapter, “Life is with creatures” from Urban Homesteading by Rachel Kaplan.
“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Those people who have known me a long time know me as a quiet person, easily spending free time in solitary. As a student I never raised my hand, shrinking in embarrassment if called upon in class. My friends never really knew me because I rarely talked; my strength was in listening. Nature was my favorite companion, proof of which is my treasured butterfly collection.
Many of you who have become my friends the past ten plus years may surprised by this trait. My career has led me to act as leader of learning for both children and adults. I continue to treasure time for myself, it is a way for me to reconnect with myself. But I have learned the richness that life offers when experienced and shared with others. How shallow my life would be if I had not discovered the awesomeness of getting to know the many wonderful persons who’ve crossed my pathway.
My continued passion for nature is more rewarding when I work side-by-side with students in our outdoor “Living Museum” and include a small menagerie of classroom pets for first hand learning experiences. I have come to realize that the joys of planting, harvesting, or observing an insect at work are measureably more fun when shared with others.