It’s been hard to sleep. The political climate in this country is so explosive and disturbing it’s difficult to feel grounded, to feel safe. Instead of the news, which only serves to spike the fight-flight response, I seek other things. A good book always helps but sometimes I just want to watch TV.
My most recent discovery is Planet Earth II on BBC. There is something so sublimely comforting in watching the beauty and simplicity of animals in their natural habitat. I can’t describe the wonder of this program; it often leaves me breathless. It explores deserts, jungles, islands, oceans, mountains and the incredible animals that have adapted to and inhabit them.
I said simple, but often these adaptations are more complex than you would think possible. There is a fish that creates an intricate, perfectly symmetrical mosaic in the sand at the ocean bottom to attract a mate. It looks incredibly similar to a Tibetan mandala. There is a bird that clears the jungle floor not only of all debris but of any color that might detract from his mighty feather display when looking for a mate. The magnificent Snow Leopard found throughout central Asia at high elevations including the Himalayas, spends most of its life alone except when wanting to conceive. They are so solitary there is actually no name for a group of Snow Leopards. These gorgeous animals are endangered.
The life of the animals shown is not always pretty. It is often harsh and dangerous. Yet, this program with its marvels manages to soothe, astonish and inspire. If you can find it, watch it.
Happy Earth Day!
(Photo: SLF Pakistan/Snow Leopard Trust)