A 21st Century Memoir.

The Universe Wants To Be Noticed

#706: Convince me that the universe wants to be noticed.

“I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward the consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observe. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it—or my observation of it—is temporary?”

Yesterday I learned about what happened to the rivers when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years. These wolves had managed to change the rivers, and a “trophic cascade” occurred.

The wolves began to hunt the deer, which previously had no predators to control their population, and in response deer had avoided the deep valleys where they could be easily trapped and lush green grass, trees and other plants began to grow back. The birds and beavers started to migrate back to Yellowstone, and as a result, the dams they built in the rivers provided habitats for otters and muskrats and ducks and fish and reptiles, amphibians and even bears. The wolves killed coyotes and so mice began to rise and so did the hawks, weasels, foxes and badgers.

And then, of course, because of the wolves, the rivers began to change the way they moved, ebbed and flowed because the grass and the surrounding landscape had altered and stabilized the river banks. However, without the wolves Yellowstone National Park would appear entirely different.

Like the ecosystem of Yellowstone, the universe is an all-encompassing entity that feeds and grows from every being big or small within it. Just as a missing piece affects the entire picture printed on a puzzle, when you take something out of the equation you end up modifying its true meaning. Every single one of us is a part of something much larger than ourselves, and we affect everything that happens in the universe because we are pieces of the universe.

According to John Muir, “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” Every time we change something or take something away, the earth notices and lets us know how everything is supposed to be, and so does the universe. Every action has a reaction, and as you gaze up in to the trillions of stars shining brightly and burning eons away the universe again elaborately reminds you of your place within it.

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