Sunday, February 24, 2008

Reclaimed

The last time we shot at Bahia Honda in the Florida Keys, my oldest daughter was stung by a Portuguese Man of War, my son cut himself on a rusty knife he found in the sand, and my youngest daughter was bitten twice by an unidentified bug - all in the same moment. The little one screamed like a banshee. You'd have thought her bug bites were as bad as the Man of War Sting. :) We removed the Man of War tentacles, washed off the cut, taped on some bandages, dried the tears... and then stayed out of the water. :) Everyone survived their ordeals... just barely of course. Despite the trauma, Jay and I retured to Bahia Honda during our recent visit to Florida... this time without the kids. Not so much drama this time, thank goodness. It was nice to walk this beautiful beach and enjoy the peace and quiet... and take some more photographs, of course.

I found this strange object floating in the water. It took me a moment to realize it was a rope - one end was anchored in the sand, and the entire rope was covered by various forms of life. The water here is so clear - and the sand so white - that the rope stands out very clearly. I think it's interesting to see what happens to man-made objects when they are forgotten... Nature reclaims them so quickly.

Things like this remind me that Nature makes the rules. We cut into the land to build our cities, and we force crops from fields that once grew such a variety of plants... but we can't control Nature for long. Hurricanes and earthquakes make short work of our buildings, and flood and fire destroy our fields.

But I don't think catastrophic events showcase the most spectacular power of Nature. Its greatest power is slow. It is the constant trickling water that carves grooves - and then canyons - into solid stone. The creeping vines and seedlings that take over a garden and reclaim it as wild land. The tiny virus that multiplies and becomes our worst nightmare. And life that finds purchase absolutely anywhere - from the depths of the ocean to the hottest desert sands... or on an old rope that someone left behind.

If we don't constantly beat it back, Nature will quietly take over.

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