Interconnected Webs of Life - Columbia Land Trust
Photo by Rollin Bannow
An end of year reflection from Executive Director Glenn Lamb

One recent morning I woke up to a dense freezing fog. On my morning walk, spider webs that were normally invisible to me were suddenly revealed in every beautiful detail. Another morning, with an inch of fresh snow, a walk that normally seemed solitary was illuminated by a criss-cross of animal tracks. The stitched pattern of a mouse, slightly larger lunges of squirrels, exclamation points from the rabbits, and the unmistakable half-moons of deer.

So much of life is not obvious as we move through the world.

This is a defining experience of 2020. A virus is everywhere among us yet visible to no one. Invisible components of our air – carbon dioxide – contribute to warmer and warmer temperatures. Black people report experiences to which many other people are blind.

Each of these elements, while literally not visible, are evidence that the well-being of any of us is linked to the well-being of all of us.  We may have the occasional illuminated day – like on that frosty foggy morning – but as a rule the interconnected nature of our reciprocal relationships remains hidden.

It is up to each of us to realize that these unseen connections bind us all, and to live with the curiosity and care to uncover how everything connects. Once I saw the full extent (and cleverness!) of those frosty spider webs, I realized how spiders are playing their role almost everywhere I looked. And my snowy morning walk took on more meaning as I crouched down to examine the otherwise hidden paths of forest life.

A big part of my joy in life is learning how many connections there are that I knew nothing about. There is something almost miraculous and sacred about a world that evolves to beautifully support mutual thriving. Therefore, it so heartbreaking and tragic when I see the result of broken connections and relationships.

Let us walk together through our human and non-human worlds and look for interconnections. Know, that whether we see it or not, we are all connected. Let us treat all things with the respect and love we might give to our closest family member. It is a challenge that will serve us well when the next 2020 arrives.

Glenn Lamb, Executive Director