Amidst the chaos of the world, I looked up to the sky and witnessed a flock of birds carelessly soaring. To them it was just another day. The outbreak of a virus, cancellation of classes, disruption of routine meant nothing to the birds as they remained unfazed. The birds didn’t have to worry about grocery store stocks running low, or the possibility of losing their jobs. They found their versions of toilet paper and hand sanitizer in nature. They didn’t worry about how the virus would hinder their ability to have financial security. The birds placed their trust in nature and continued to live in unison with it. The only structure they followed was that of the Earth, and their routine relied on the conditions of nature.
I admired the birds’ autonomy. It showed me that a reliance on systems had stripped me from my ability to live confidently with nature. I depended so heavily on manmade structures like school and work to feel fulfilled. I was so out of touch with nature that when something natural like a virus prevented certain institutions from functioning, I too, felt unable to function. I felt that if I was not going to school everyday and working from morning to night that I would not feel satisfied. I felt that success was quantified by the amount of work I produced for those systems and anything that stopped me from producing was a problem.
My feelings are foreign to birds as the only structure they subscribe to is nature. They eat from nature, find shelter in nature, work with nature, and live as nature. Though structure and routine are necessary for human life, I still wish people depended more on nature and less on structure. I wish manmade systems were more prepared for the wild capacities of nature. I wish that people could live independently; live more like birds. Birds are aware of the structures around them, yet they do not depend on nor are they controlled by them. Some have even taken the liberty of building nests on stores, houses and power lines.
Humans have developed far more than birds and have surpassed other species in every way possible, yet in the wake of something as natural as a virus, we are subject to complete destruction. All our developments and structures were shaken by nature and if the coronavirus has proven anything to me, it is that in the face of nature, man does not stand a chance. With the future dependent on the course of the virus, the Earth will remain in control and there is no manmade structure, object or system that can withstand its strength.
This pandemic, though unfortunate and chaotic, has shown its value. People are learning to live while connected with nature. Enabled to be productive, people are prioritizing their physical and mental wellness. Worried for the health of the elderly, people are caring for and connecting more with their parents and neighbors. Encouragement of self-isolation has led people to travel within their own minds, meditating and contemplating their lives. These times are uncomfortable and stressful, yet humans have managed to thrive. We will come out of this situation, stronger and wiser, leading a life more like the birds.