All the beasts
“If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit…”
— attributed to Chief Seattle
The oft-quoted words above were purportedly from a letter written by Chief Seattle to President Franklin Pierce. At least one historian has researched and dismissed the authenticity of this claim, and his arguments against its supposed provenance are rather convincing.
However, the quote lives on because the beauty of the words have the ring of truth to many of us. Animals are not only an adornment to our world; they are essential for its survival. With photo and video technology, we have a front-row seat for viewing the diversity of the animal kingdom. The stunning variety of their appearance, behaviors and habits are a never-ending source of fascination for those of us who enjoy watching creatures who share this planet with us.
Just as the fictional wizard Merlin taught the young Arthur about life by turning him into various animals, so we too have much to learn from the beasts. I’m thankful I’ve been able to watch all sorts of animals wherever I’ve lived and traveled, and while films will never replace the thrill of seeing them face to face, I’m grateful for digital glimpses of the inhabitants of regions all over the world. Cheers for the marvelous photography and painstaking research of humans who dedicate their lives to learning more about our animal friends.
A link to the video below was sent to me by one of the readers in this online community. When I watched it, I thought of the quote above, because I did feel less lonely in spirit as I watched the movements and expressions of the video’s stars. Many of them are not the first animals we think of when we talk about the delights of “critters,” but this clip captures the amazingly wide array of life on earth by focusing in closely on just a few examples, and each is beautiful in its unique way.
Today, I hope this video will spark fond memories of animals you’ve seen or loved, and gratitude for their presence with us here on earth, sharing and dispelling the loneliness of existence.