Dear fellow Homo sapiens,

How are you?

More than anything, we wanted to reach out with care and, as is our penchant, some nature-inspired strategies. As an organization that advocates modeling nature, many have asked us to comment on how we humans might respond to this global viral outbreak, adapt, and become resilient. In the interest of compassionate communication, I’d like to offer a thought about what we might do after this forced, difficult, collective pause.

Have we ever had such a moment? As individuals, we might. Years ago, I quit my job and couch-surfed by the grace of friends while my personal financial market tanked, and I considered what kind of life really made sense. But when has society collectively dropped out of society? Not in my lifetime.

And so, the return to “normalcy” deserves intense contemplation. We humans have the ability to form a shared, imagined reality (Sapiens), and this intense crisis has generated a new one. While we are forced to wait at home, we have an opportunity to try a new practice, one built on reconnecting to nature. What might we return to after 30 (or more) days of observing how a leaf works, how a spider senses, how ants assign duties to one another, or how energy and mass are linked in a perpetual life cycle dance? It will start slowly. We will notice life’s details more, our synapses will lengthen.

And when the curfews are lifted, we will rush back onto the streets with new lenses: noticing the fine details may reveal a different and broader perspective. While we were gone, carbon emissions levels dropped dramatically and traffic disappeared, giving all life on Earth a renewed glimpse at the sky. The invisible has been made visible: we are connected to one another and connected to all living species on this planet. “This is our home,” Janine reminds us, “but it is not ours alone.”

Stay grounded and curious, my friends. We’re all in this together… from 6 feet apart (thank you, Stephen Colbert).

– Beth

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