Matters of scale

matters of scaleEver since I’ve resumed my walks, something has been nagging at my subconscious.  Today, I finally figured out what’s been bugging me.

I haven’t had to bob and weave over the last couple of weeks.  As you may recall, I expend part of my energy ensuring I don’t inadvertently walk through the various ant hills that pepper the walkways along my route.

Halfway through my “stretch run”, that area with the most cracks in the concrete and, therefore, more opportunities for ant villages, I noticed there were no ant hills…or ants, even!

The constant and heavy rainstorms over the last several weeks are no doubt responsible for this sad state of affairs.  Day after day, long stretches of pouring rain likely washed away any existing structures and prevented new ones from being built.

It occurred to me that this must seem like the end of the world to the ants.  Millions of ants were probably drowned in the deluge, with little chance for escape in the concrete (as opposed to the subsurface tunnels that might offer safety in the grass).

That got me to thinking about scale.  Something that is simply an annoyance (especially without an umbrella) to us is a disaster of epic proportions to ants.  In the same light, the various catastrophes that occur on our tiny blue-green ball must go totally unnoticed  in the vastness of the universe.

And in comparison, what is a car crash or sunken ship to an ant?  Within the same world, even, and yet having no relevance to the other.  Still, to the victims, each incident is the same tragedy, it’s only scale that makes it matter less or more.

I’m not looking for metaphors or allegories between the incidents, simply pondering on matters of scale.

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