what is a waste?

a crows lunch!

We bought our home about 6 years ago last November. Since neither I or Jack is good at tree identification we did not know what types were on the property. One day, the following summer, I was sitting in our back yard, and saw what appeared to be small pears on one of the trees! I was excited beyond words. I had never had a pear tree before and I never knew anyone who had one either…it seemed like a magical tree. I imagined all of the wonderful pear salads and gifts to friends.

Crows like them too I soon found out. Especially the big ones at the top of the tree. They come, when the pears are just about ready to pick and sit on top and peck away…they never eat the whole thing. They eat holes in one and move on to the next. When I first realized what they were doing I felt annoyed and thought,  at least you could eat the whole thing before moving on…you don’t have to “ruin” them all”.

My complaining about the crows did not stop them. Crows eat holes in pears and leave them. The pears then fall. Some rot. The opossums eat those and the bugs and who knows who else. By the end of the season, there is not a trace of a pear…rotten or not. Nature has a wisdom beyond our knowing. When we see that something has been partially eaten and say, “what a waste”…are we so sure of that? I am a big cat lover and sometimes my cats (although extremely well fed!) kill a mouse or a mole and eat part of it. And I’ve heard people say cats kill “needlessly”…are we so sure? Who eats the leftovers? Something does.

Complaining is more a waste of life than anything else. I was at an outdoor sporting event last summer and saw people throwing their plastic bottles into the trash near the refreshment stand. All of the sudden a woman started almost yelling, “where is the recycle container? This is terrible. An event like this should be recycling!” She was racing around so upset, trying to find a trash can to put the bottles in, (which she ultimately did) with a red, angry face. I could see people back off as she approached them. I know that she was well-meaning. She felt like she was doing the right thing and she was. But the way that she was doing it was truly hurting her. For lack of better words, she was “wasting” her life. There are all sorts of studies that now prove that our emotions directly impact our health. We are given only this one life. How are we living it? In anger and fear and blame and judgement?…then we are wasting it. How many times have I done the same thing?…maybe not with recycling but a thousand other ways. I want to do things differently.

So I asked Jack to take a photograph of the partially eaten pear to remind me of the mystery beyond my knowing. I love this photograph..it is so full of life.

9 thoughts on “what is a waste?”

  1. Owh “The mystery beyond my knowing” That’s poetry.
    Seems to me this is also a good example of what is going on politically in this country. Everyone knows everything, and everyone else is wrong and we can’t stop yelling at each other to spread our wisdom.

    1. Hi Maria,
      I know it! Last year I was driving behind a car in Greenwich, that had a bumper sticker that said, “If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.”…i thought, “If you are living outraged, then you are going to get sick.”…the car pulled into the doctors office on rt. 29…i am not kidding!

  2. Great observation nature does make it all work out. The sentence about how our emotions directly impact our health I feel is so true. I have just returned home from assisting my mother who is battling cancer in another state. On the TV she watched all the shows that are based on turmoil. Judging, arguing, and screaming is what she watched all day long. If not the cause of the cancer wreaking havoc on her body it sure is no aid to her emotions in her battle. Doctors cutting and poisoning it will take a miracle for her to beat this. Love from her children and friends along with her will to live her only allies. The oncologist said when she wanted the chemo to start again after surgery ” I don’t want to torture her”. Sure makes me wonder about the state of modern medicine. Waste of a good education the way I see it. Sorry this comment got long but I release my angst this way. Thank You.

    1. Thank you for writing and sharing this story which I am sure is very difficult for you ….this is such an important observation to share with others.

  3. I love this pear photo. Kind of surreal, like the pear is floating. (Pears and crows are among some of my favorite painting subjects) And crows are very intelligent birds. I’m sure they comprehend the whole circle of life thing much better than we humans do.

  4. Thank you for your posts. In a world full of chaos, and turmoil and hatred, it is so nice to be brought back down to earth to the things that matter the most. I am learning to stop every day and enjoy the small signs that the world is beautiful and wonderful.

  5. When I was a young woman, I wanted to open a store and call it “Back to Basics Outfitters.” I was going to fill it with all kinds of “basic” stuff, whatever that might mean. I think your story illustrates how nature is so basic, and takes care of itself. I really love that about the natural world…when we leave it alone, nature survives, replenishes and restores herself. It’s a mystery and a wonder. We humans should always aspire to be students of nature. As always, thanks for your thought provoking posts.

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