At the Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary in Princeton, where this picture was taken, there used to be a long and beautiful boardwalk through a swamp. However, beavers came and built dams, submerging the boardwalk. I was sad about this loss, but the attitude of the workers at Sanctuary baffled me. They had spent countless hours building the boardwalk, yet they seemed unconcerned about the loss..
“Landscapes change. Nature is always changing,” was their reply.
Still, I remained sad. But, when the beavers changed the swampy landscape, great blue herons came to nest in the dead trees in the water. How wonderful to be able to watch both of those fascinating creatures! In the last few years, the water had begun to recede, and a new landscape is forming. What will be next, I wonder?
Pema Chodron talks about “getting the knack of hopelessness”
In Tibetan there’s an interesting word: ye tang che. The ye part means “totally, completely,” and the rest of it means “exhausted”. Altogether, ye tang che means totally tired out. We might say “totally fed up.” It describes an experience of complete hopelessness, of completely giving up hope. This is an important point. This is the beginning of the beginning. Without giving up hope–that there’s somewhere to be, that there’s someone better to be–we will never relax with where we are or who we are.