A field of wild flowers, yellow daisies, pointed towards the sun<

In our part of the world, we are gradually approaching a time when it will be safer to gather in larger groups. We will once again find ourselves gathering in our communities where we we find comfort, safety, and companionship. Many people have found substitutes with on-line interactions through video conferences, social media posts and other technical solutions for a very human need. But there is a yearning for seeing people in the flesh, to have a full sense of another person and not just a moving picture on a screen.

Two baby squirrels, outside of their burrow. One is looking at a plant while the other watches the camera

This need for community, a need to commune with each other, is something I see as humanity’s great strength. Because the search for community is often based supporting others and not just our own needs. By building up others, we build up a foundation that is a bedrock for everyone. Our modern world is dependent on this idea of working for a common good, even at times like the last year. Without this connection, our ancestors would not have built the society we inherited and continue to build in new ways. In the last year we found workarounds to allow us to continue working together in spite of obstacles. Our need to connect is strong and we used our tools to meet that need as best as we could.

Two baby hummingbirds, fledglings, in their nest, nestled in an oak tree

There are exceptions, those who feel they can go their own way without understanding the connections that must work to support their independence. From what I’ve observed, these are the exceptions, and the need to connect with others and support them is a part of humanity. These acts, this need to work for the good of all, are the things that give me hope for the future in spite of the problems of today. People will find a way through, sometimes in spite of themselves, in order to make things a little better for those around them.

Pictures by J.T. Harpster. Prints of selected photos can be found at https://shellcreek.redbubble.com/

Help support us by becoming a subscriber at our Patreon site, https://www.patreon.com/shellcreekbooks