I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know all the scientific information about ant colonies. I just happen to have the privilege of observing one colony over the past two or three years. This colony sits right on the side of a trail I walk almost daily. I’ve watch it grow in the summer, be demolished by winter weather, and grow again the next summer.
I have been mesmerized by the bevy of motion on this ant colony. Movement is everywhere–tiny ants working individually yet in harmony to create such an amazing structure. One day while I was observing the activities I noticed a small stick about one in a half inches long moving across the path. I did a double take, it is not everyday you see a stick moving. There were 8-10 ants working together to bring this stick to the colony. I have so enjoyed the building, maintaining, and working together of this colony of ants.
My thoughts move to how we as humans work together to create towns, cities, countries, social networks we can all live within. At this time in history I feel the divisiveness and hateful rhetoric we hear is diminishing our ability to trust in each other to create the livable communities we so want to build. How do we bring back trust? How do we honor diversity and know it is our differences that create the new? How do we reach out and support our neighbors when so often it feels safer to hole up in our homes? Fear is the driving force of hate–may we find ways to combat the fear of the “other” and build sustainable lives for all of us.
I know the ants are instinctual, and fear is not a part of their living. They just work with each other building a colony for all. May we find ways to reach out to each other and build bridges of understanding.
4 thoughts on “Lessons from an Ant Colony”
I love this post about the ants!! I am always amazed at how nature shows us how to build community if we will just observe and follow the directions!! I fully believe that it is possible to build human communities that can thrive if we are all willing to do the work of starting with our own self care, and then joining with like minded souls. Not always easy to do, but we all have the opportunity to start again with each new moment just like the ants do with each new season. Thanks for sharing Ardine. I want to go see where this colony is!!
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Thanks Patricia I’ve truly enjoyed watching the industrious ants working together and not letting anything stop them. A branch fell on the colony this summer and they built right on top of it. We’ll walk the trail soon.
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Woah. I think I need to learn how to build on top of branches…resiliency.
Perfect work Rita–resiliency–nothing stops them