It’s all about perspective

I stopped to observe a type of millipede. Yes, we’re still in my 5 km zone. No world travel yet.

Well, this creature stopped me in my tracks – I hadn’t seen one of its kind before. Actually, I ended up sitting down to continue observing its progress, crawling up this rock (do they actually crawl, or is it more of a “shuffle”?).

Anyway, perspective is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? Ten minutes of observing, and we had maybe a 5 cm progress for the focused millipede – it was a bit of a steep incline compared to the physiology of the little creature.

It hit me how we humans set incredible goals for ourselves. Goals we’ll want to achieve in the next year, month, day, or even the next 10 minutes. And here we were: it had progressed 5 cm – and I’m not even sure how to put that into the perspective of what a “day’s walk” is in the life of a millipede.

Both unprepared, this is where the drama happened: it fell from the rock it was climbing – a 50 cm drop.

This would be hours of work to get back to the same point. Maybe even half a day’s work with a few breaks. Would it even attempt that steep incline again – or give up? Would it choose a totally different path?

I have to disappoint you that I didn’t stay to find out. I saw it taking a bit of a moment to get to its senses. To shake off the surprise of the setback. To check all limbs were OK (and that must take a bit longer with those thousands of legs, right? Leg number 973, report back in – can you hear me? Please report back functionality number 973. 973, hello?)

Then I interpreted the next moments as a bit of mapping out the options phase. And then it started crawling, shuffling forward again – on the flat sand surface below the rock face.

This is where I left the scene – I will never know which direction it took in life. It definitely shook off any disappointment. But not sure where it went.

As I was sitting there, observing these last crucial moments of decision making, some other walkers were approaching – and I updated them on the fascinating scenario.

They immediately jumped to asking if it was OK and should be moved for others to not trot on (these lockdown times we are many crowding the paths of nature).

I hadn’t even thought of that. I knew the millipede was fine – it was used to battling nature every day without us observing or intervening. How that was their first thought and hadn’t even crossed my mind to intervene is just another example of perspective, isn’t it?

No judgment, right or wrong – our different life experiences, choices, and mindsets just made us react very differently to that simple scenario.

Anyway, continuing my walk up the rocky path, my steps felt lighter. My speed felt like lightning speed. It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?