I’ve always loved the sciences. Even as a little kid, I enjoyed studying the various phenomena of our planet and learning about all of the processes going on with all of the different species. Even the things people look at as being inanimate, like rocks and their geological history.
And us human animals too. Now there’s a science project!
It’s just totally fascinating examining the diversity of species, all stemming from common DNA, and all of the electrical, chemical, and biomechanical energy and interactions that make us living, breathing, functioning organisms.
And all of us many species are so interrelated and interconnected. And so interdependent on maintaining a balance for survival. A microscopic, microcosmic juggling act of such immense proportions that it’s hard to wrap your mind around.
Of course, there’s even more as you delve into mind and spirit. And what of the nature of the heart?
Hard to express those with a mathematical formula. Maybe someday, someone will figure out a way to do that. 😊
And as much as I enjoy the study of the sciences, I’m not exactly a math wizard. And there is lots of math involved. And it’s been many years since I sat in some of those classrooms. So, let’s just say that to this day, I remain a huge fan and student of conceptual physics and chemistry, among other things.
And there are many concepts that are adaptable, in principle, to many other concepts, at least metaphorically. And what better way to have fun as a wordsmith than to blend and mix and blur and enjoy.
So, today’s subject from the blender is binding energy.
You see, when individual free protons and neutrons combine to form an atomic nucleus some of the mass disappears. They call this the mass defect. The sum of the combined mass is less than the sum of the individual masses of those sub-atomic particles.
Well, the missing mass was converted to energy and released. This happens in nuclear fusion, and on a mass scale (pun intended) this is the process powering our Sun.
And we’re composed of a nice primordial soup of sub-atomic and atomic particles. All of us.
But I’m going to talk about a different binding energy. A force that brings people together in an intimate way. Binds them with a common and unique experience. An event they will remember for the rest of their lives. It touches their hearts in a way that they didn’t realize was possible.
And it can seem like such a simple thing.
But it must involve a whole lot of chemistry . . .
I was out hiking in the Teton National Park. And I was weary. The days prior were a blur of highways and hiking experiences and the pace was picking up as I was beginning the return trip to that place called home.
I had almost packed it in for the day, but I thought, no, there was one more place I needed to stop. It was down a very primitive gravel road so driving was slow going. But I found a nice spot along a river bank, pulled over, donned my gear, and off I strode.
At this point, I was the only human soul around.
I came upon some ducks. Then overhead came Trumpeter Swans, so graceful in their flight. Next, a Beaver dam. An artful construction creating a small pond. A lone Elk grazed itself on some of the grasses nearby. Three Mule Deer were to the south, one clearly carrying a child.
Then something drew my attention to another spot off in the distance. A small group of people had gathered about a mile away. I knew they had spotted something but I wasn’t sure what. So, I shifted direction and headed towards them. The opposite of what I normally do when I’m out in Nature and want to get away from anything reminding me of “civilization.”
What was there? What had attracted this group of human animals?
This was my first encounter with a Moose and she was absolutely amazing.
But part of the amazement was what she did to the people observing her. To me.
There was a rise in the bank along a stream that fed into the river. And she was calmly walking along that bank and eating from the small willows that lined it.
She was totally unconcerned with us as we sat on the top of that brim.
She knew she was much mightier than us. She had nothing to fear. This was her home and while we were intruders, we were being respectful intruders. We kept our distance.
None of us wanted to disturb a 1500-pound animal, as peaceful as she was. We were all just hypnotized by her presence. Her beauty. Her spirit.
What we witnessed is becoming more and more sparse in this world. A precious gift. And while we watched her, we watched each other. We actually paused and gazed into each other’s eyes, and we were all touched with an over-whelming sensation of joy. From seeing this rare gem in the wilderness.
Few words were spoken, other than to acknowledge her beauty. And those words were whispered. Hushed tones. But words didn’t have to be spoken. Feelings were being communicated without talking and without physical touch.
I’m not sure how to describe it, but we were all one. We were all happy. Exuberant. Intoxicated.
Atomic energy mingled.
And just as we had all come together for this brief moment of ecstasy, a common message seemed to resonant when it was time to go. We just knew. We all rose and, in total peace and awe, we left, splitting off on our own paths. Probably never to see each other again.
Yet if we did. If by some chance or fortune we ever crossed paths again, we’d know. We’d know that we’d had met somewhere. Perhaps in a spiritual plain. That we had shared something wondrous. Something unimaginable in normal daily life.
We’d know each other’s souls, because of one much greater than our own.
Photos: I don’t think my pics in this one need further description 🙂 Except I will mention that the feature pic is the same basic shot of the area where Ansel Adams captured his famous image of the Snake River Overlook. A few more trees obscure the direct line of sight of the landscape.