Friday, June 25, 2010

Against fear

We were touring the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, while on a trip out west to visit family. The museum houses the world's largest display of dinosaurs. Most are depicted in lifelike dioramas designed to transport the viewer back in time.

The first impression that swallowed me was the sheer size and fearsome ferocity of these prehistoric creatures. (The second was the work that went into creating such lifelike displays.)

Our family group of 12 split up, each following his own path through the museum, each lingering in moments of awe, gathering his or her own impressions, thoughts. As I stood under the skeleton of a T-Rex, mine continued along one common vein. What would it be like, to live in a land of giant predators? Living each day in mortal fear. When, in given moment, one might be snatched up the jaws of such a fearsome creature - part of the prehistoric food chain?

I thought of how these huge creatures had been annihilated by weather patterns, shifts in their environment. These incredibly complex intimidating animals had not been able to withstand these factors and adapt, while other, smaller creatures found the path to survival in evolution and migration.

Walking through this recreated world left me feeling small and insignificant. It also made me wonder what smaller creatures in my world might feel in my presence.

Do I invoke fear in bird, ant or little caterpillar hearts as they go about their day to day quest for survival? Or do they sense I mean them no harm? And will they stand a better chance for survival in our changing environment than me?

1 comment:

Tabor said...

I have often thought about this. How I appear to the tiny animals in my world.