I am not a “progressive”(by realpc)

August 21, 2009 at 1:04 pm (By Realpc) ()

I am not a “progressive” even though I grew up in a blue state, in a blue family. I am not a “conservative” either, and my philosophy is mostly based on systems theory — which includes the idea that evolving natural systems depend on a precarious balance of conservative and progressive forces.

I observed a scene last winter that I thought might help me express some of these ideas without a lot of long-windedness. The following is my very short description of that scene, and I hope it will be obvious what I meant to express.

Please tell me what you think!


Why the Lake is Always Beautiful

There is a pretty lake near where I live, a peaceful home to varied water birds. Depending on the season there may be seagulls, ducks, Canada geese, egrets, herons, etc. But there are always, any time of year, two adult swans, with or without their latest brood. I imagine it has been the same couple since I lived here, about seven years. The male is somewhat larger than the female, and one winter day I saw him breaking ice for her. He raised his body up out of the water and slammed it down repeatedly to crash the thin ice. His graceful lady floated ceremoniously behind, through the jagged curving pathway.

Recently I walked past the lake and, as usual, glanced over to acknowledge its calm beauty. But something was obviously wrong this time — there were three adult swans instead of two. The resident couple raised themselves several feet above the water and flustered their wings loudly at a third. The intruder was relatively small, probably young, possibly a grown child of the couple — but I am only guessing. He, or she, refused to be frightened off, but settled back down on the water’s glittering cold surface and paddled slowly to the north, away from the road.

The resident couple swam slowly and sternly after him/her, their wings arched and hollowed in a menacing pose. From the front, they would appear larger than normal, but I saw them from behind, where the deception was obvious. I would have stayed for the outcome of this drama, but I had to be somewhere. So I walked away as the three swans continued their grim procession northward.

Three hours later I returned to see that peace had been restored, and only the resident swan couple remained. Far out in the middle of the lake something white floated just below the surface, something about the size of a swan. I can’t say it definitely was, but it definitely seemed to be, the dead body of the intruder. I can’t imagine what else it might have been.

Some humans might be angered, might consider this murder. They might wish to set up laws and regulations. They might lament other species’ inferior sense of ethics and compassion, and try to round them all up into human-controlled environments. But I do not agree. Nature’s laws could not be made more perfect.

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