Some while ago, a woman was standing in the middle of the Springwater Trail ahead of me as I biked into work, motioning for me to go around. As I slowed down and passed, I saw the reason: a “wooly bear” caterpillar (larval phase of the Isabella tiger moth, Pyrrharctia isabella, in case you’d always wondered and hadn’t looked it up yet, like me until I wrote this) was crossing the trail under her guardianship. It made me smile.
A couple of days later, the same trail was littered with squished slugs and caterpillars. It looked quite clearly intentional.
In my 13 years working at JCWC, I’ve seen more squishing than I’d like–manure piles in stream channels, clear-cuts, pesticide spills, and huge sediment releases, to name just a few. But, I get to *be* the woman in the trail. And I get to work with an organization, and a community of partner groups and volunteers, who are all women in the trail. It feels right to be doing this.
It’s a fragile proposition: so many of us doing the long, hard work of shepherding that one caterpillar across the trail (or salmon up the stream), when a wanton few could (and do) come along and step on that one and more behind us, whether out of ignorance or malice. But there are more of us all the time, putting our Love into this stream, and when you’ve seen an osprey dive into a creek that some had written off for dead and come out with a fish in its talons…well, how do you*not* devote your life to making that happen more?
So, thanks for standing here with me. Here comes another one; let’s keep it safe.