Aren't Possums Beautiful?

Aren't Possums Beautiful?


All life is precious

A quilted tapestry

Each is important

In Nature’s mystery.


The above words are one verse in a song I wrote about 8 years ago, a song called Smile if You Want To. I was reminded of them when bringing in wood to start the fire on a cold morning two days ago. The kindling was comprised of branches I’d pruned by hand from bushes on the edge of the property a couple of years earlier; bone dry wood that was stacked neatly under the deck. The lowest branches lay directly on the ground.


As I crouched feeding wood into the fireplace I noticed a number of creatures making their way independently across the floor away from the fire. They had obviously been hitchhikers on the wood I’d brought in. They were smart to get away before getting tossed inadvertently into the fire.


What were they? A red worm, a cockroach and a spider. The worm was easy to catch by hand, as was the spider. I took them outside and bade them farewell. The cockroach was a little more difficult to catch. They’re fast. But persistence paid off and he was soon with his cousins on the lawn.


In this country people intentionally try to run over possums with their cars at night because these imported mammals from Australia have decimated some New Zealand forests. The possums were originally brought here in the 1800s for the fur trade. They have thrived and proliferated with no known predators (save man). But I believe what we resist persists. Kill one possum and another will breed to more than make up for it. All life is precious and is part of a complex balance and evolution that will work if we work with it. The possum, the worm, the cockroach and the spider have roles to play and I want no part in the destruction of any of them. When you love Nature she loves you and you are rewarded abundantly. When you fight her she fights back.


Here’s the chorus from Smile if You Want To:

Smile if you want to.

Laugh if you can.

Join in the circle

That touches every land.


Keep smiling,


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