Saturday, April 14, 2012

Nature Show Dream Number One

I stopped watching Nature Shows twenty years ago. This was a big change in my life because I had watched them since I was a kid - it all began with Disney on Sunday nights, followed by Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. I had stacks of National Geographics in my bedroom closet - in fact, many of the closets in my grandparents home were insulated with towers of yellow, going back to the 1940s. My favorite issues were anything with zebras or lions or antelope. And then there were the Wolves. Anything about Wolves stopped me in my tracks.

I discovered Animal Behavior somewhere half way through my college career - I had no idea I could major in it. I thought you got to be Jane Goodall by the grace of God or the Queen or the Pope, you know?  But I was on my English trajectory, no jumping the tracks for me, do you want to be in college for the rest of your life? I did, but the family didn't. So I did what any confused college student could do under the circumstances, I got a minor! Two minors - one in Anthropology (Primatology!) and Psychology (Animal Behavior!) and so I had all these wonderful textbooks to read every night that told me why the animals did what they did. And the Nature Shows became more sophisticated, but at some point, they became Apocalyptic - oh they would start off just fine, here's a troupe of Baboons, here's their social order and then? The Poachers come and take the Alpha Male's teeth to China to be ground up and sold as a remedy for pot bellies or some such ailment.  So I turned off the Nature Shows forever.

Last night I was restless, and when I finally fell asleep, who should visit me? David Attenborough, only in voice though, he narrated. He spoke of the world getting hotter and hotter, of desertification, and then I saw his old hands holding desert flowers, tiny flowers of brilliant red - drought resistant - these would be the only flowers to flourish from now on . . .  I met refugees coming down a street and watched them board a train that would not go.

Thankfully the world is still green this morning . . .

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