Author: Tim Brinkley
Biodiversity is defined as the assorted variations of life within a given environment. At Petersburg Home for Ladies we have studied our Memorial Garden Pollination Garden for the past two years placing emphasis on the reproduction cycle of the monarch butterfly. As our study builds, we are learning to envelop the diversity of life associated with this process.
As one looks at the life experience represented by our resident population it is easy to quickly envision the volumes of books that could be written, or the documentaries produced by such an accomplished group of women. Yet with all their collective knowledge, there is still much to discover as we look deeply into the hidden nuances of our gardens. Life is fascinating and the process of discovery is endless.
The cycle of life on every level is both intriguing and mystifying all at once. From the metamorphosis of the caterpillar to the regrowth of the plant it lives on, that cycle of endless eb and flow remains at the center of human fascination. Without the aphid, milkweed beetle or even the feared tachinid fly, we would never understand the fullness of the miraculous revolution our monarchs embrace from egg, to larva, onward to adult butterflies, then followed by thousands of miles of flight.
Taking time to examine the experience of these gentle creatures teaches us to not only embrace our childlike reverence for the unknown, but also reminds us of the grand thinking which transpires when we are willing to allow our thoughts to wander and our beliefs to connect with something greater than ourselves.
One of our ladies commented as we released a butterfly, “It makes me feel free…free as he is…like I could just fly on.”Another ladies commented, “I never thought of doing this before…I mean they are insects.” With blissful amusement in ourthoughts, we can say that our ladies are connecting with a journey of discovery as they walk the hallways of biodiversity. The tiniest process draws us with great allure into realms of knowledge which satisfy our minds and warm our souls. All of this is made possible as we simply embrace the world around us with a longing to know more.