by Kana Ohnishi, Menlo School
Craig’s curiosity connects him to the natural world. It drove him to go to the ocean, which was his meditation coach. He saw how beautiful and intricate the kelp forest was. His recordings show facts we didn’t know about octopuses. The octopus made him love going to the ocean, which healed him from the stress he had as a documentarian.
Like Craig I became interested in an animal. It was a baby bird that had fallen from a tree when I was in first grade. It fell from a nest and we took it in, but it died two weeks later. I had never had a pet so this baby bird felt like one to me. Over the course of those two weeks I experienced lots of things that will stay with me like feeding the bird, greeting it, and playing with it.
After the baby bird I started to think more about animals. I thought about how humans have run over the world and how it affects animals. The tree was above the pavement. If the bird hadn’t fallen on the pavement, it could have survived. I discovered that caring for something weaker than you can teach empathy and resilience. Like Craig, when I see that an animal is hurt it gives me lots of compassion. In the end, we both learned from an animal.
Discovery is more than just being face to face with a bird. It’s when you get to know it, get to know yourself that you may not have known, and as you discover those things you can incorporate that into your daily life. That is something that I tried to do during the pandemic. Discovery was a big part of the quarantine. We discovered new ways to teach and to go to school and perform events. We also discovered that we shouldn’t take everything in our old lives for granted. We used to complain about going to school, but now you’re lucky if you even get to go to in-person school. Discovery is important and we need it more in our daily lives.