One of the lessons from my elementary school days that still stands out in memory was flower dissection day. I was astonished with the intricacy in a flower. Where before I saw just a flower, now I saw intricate systems for reproduction, male and female organs, color and smell to attract pollinators, a whole interconnection of systems. And this was just what I could see with my naked eye. Later I would discover the microscopic diversity and complexity of plant life. But then as a little 8 year old girl, I was gobsmacked with the complexity of it all.
Isn’t it all miraculous?
These days I need to stop and remember to let my much older self still stand in awe of the complexities of life. The interconnectedness of creation in all its abundance, from the dung beetle pushing its treasured clomp up a hill backwards with its hind feet, to the elements swirling together in a once in a generation storm.
Standing in awe requires both decentering ourselves and paying attention, absorbing both the tiniest details and the grand ones, and realizing our small place in the midst of it all. And even we humans are an amazing complexity of systems and organisms functioning together to keep us alive, made up of around 30 trillion human cells, and 39 trillion non-human microbial cells living on and in us. Our own body is essentially made up of many separate ecosystems. It is staggering.
I love being gobsmacked.