2nd Friday after Winter Solstice
This essay on whether animals plan ahead is the second of my weekly #RandomNatureConnection posts. Read more about this meme here and consider joining us if you love nature, philosophical debate, and blog about it.
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The other Random Nature Connection posts:
- 1rst Friday– Water
- 3rd Friday- Resistance to Change
- 4th Friday – Abundance
- 5th Friday – A Force to Reckon
Humans tend to think a lot about the past and the future, and (at least some of us) not so much on the present. It takes a special conscious effort for me to stay focused on the present moment because I’m always thinking of what I want to do in the future. I know others who spend more time remembering the past than they spend in the present or future.
This is the second day of the new year according to the Gregorian calendar, but according to the seasonal wheel of the year, it’s the 11th day after the winter solstice, which makes a more sensible first day of the year. The day after winter solstice is the first day of the year when days begin becoming longer and nights become shorter. At least for those of us here in the northern hemisphere. The opposite cycle is occurring for those of the southern hemisphere.
At first I started to say that humans are the only creatures that think of the future and plan ahead, but maybe that isn’t so. Right now at the time I’m writing this, outside on the ground, squirrels and chipmunks here at Wild Ozark are scurrying through the dead leaves on the ground. They’re making quite a bit of noise as they search for nuts. The reason they’re searching so diligently is to store food for the days ahead when snow covers the ground, or ice. This requires forethought, although I suppose it’s possible that they don’t consciously know why they’re doing it. They’re driven by instinct. This keeps them in the present moment, the not knowing. So I guess I’m back to the original posit that humans are the only ones who think of the future or the past. Perhaps you know of instances where animals show signs of forethought? If so, leave a comment for me.
I believe we humans could rely more on instinct to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done if we weren’t so preoccupied with making sure we’re taking care of the future by planning it all out.
Ironically, I’m thinking of my intentions for the future today and one of the things on my list of things I’d like to do is to focus more on the present.
Here’s the few items on my list of New Year Resolutions:
- Start a daily exercise/stretching/meditation (I want to incorporate meditation into this routine so it’ll be a physical and mental workout). This habit will be a daily present-time-focus experience.
- Reach a 50K word goal on my new novel in progress.
- Reduce the amount of time I spend fiddling with my website and social media.
That’s pretty much it on my list. It’s the shortest one I think I’ve ever done. What’s on your list?
I’ll be at the dentist until later today, so if you leave your link I’ll be back online to take a look at your blog this afternoon!