Monday, July 25, 2011

What I Learned at Ann Arbor

What I Learned at Ann Arbor
Sometimes life's lessons are best learned from watching nature. In our case, it was ants.
Yes, the lowly often stepped upon ant.
Sales were exceedingly slow in the 100º heat at Ann Arbor this year. I sat on our grey utility box behind our booth on Friday evening. The low box gave me a great vantage point to ant watching.
It had cooled a little. Streets were full but no one buying much. I had time on my hands and lessons to be learned!

A colony of ants found some broken chips on the sideway behind our booth. Perhaps remnants from us feeding Timmy the baby squirrel behind our booth earlier in the day. Timmy and his Dad inhabit the grounds in the front of Angell Hall on State Street. They must love the artists coming to town each year since their diet becomes infused with a new array of snacks and friendly animal loving artists to play with them. These cute squirrels were fed, photographed and befriended by many of us! Timmy loved peeled grapes cut in half, pistachios my husband shared with him and gluten free edamame chips. Only the best for Timmy!

The ants however added a whole new dimension to what occurred in my hundred square feet of overly expensive 'real estate' for four days!

Lesson One: Ants don't work alone.
They take on huge tasks and work in groups. Overwhelming to most insects they whittle away the sides of big things making them smaller and lighter, providing nourishment at the same time. They took on huge tasks and broke them into smaller tasks they could handle.

Lesson Two: They communicated with one another! If they can do this, why can't our politicians manage this task? Why can't we do this with one another?

Lesson Three: A few leader ants rode atop the small chip and gave directions! Clearly female ants charting the course not wanting to get lost and willing to ask for directions should they become disoriented along the way. Never needing GPS they were guided by instinct. What better way to live! It's the journey people! I digress....

Lesson Four: They traveled out of the path of being stepped on by moving their chip into the crevasse of the sidewalk. They stayed low and did their thing! Honestly, I don't think they cared that I was watching them. What a blissful state to travel through life in!

Lesson Five: They accepted help along the way. Other ants took over when the fist squad got tired. Something we all need to remember. We can help one another!

Lesson Six: When the rain came and splashed on their efforts, they took cover under the leaf I gave them and picked up where they left off despite their chip being relocated. A few inches to us, probably miles to them! They did not cease!

Lesson Seven: Past errors need not be repeated. We can learn from them and move on! A good reminder!

Lesson Eight: Sometimes it's Gods smallest creatures that can teach us life's biggest lessons - if we are willing to watch and learn!

They never gave up.

I can learn from this!


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