Advertisement
Share

Seals are reminders of the natural world

BY DANE WINKELMAN

Much is said of the seals making themselves at home on the beach in La Jolla. This spring, they rather immodestly dropped their pups there, in full public view. And since they are trespassers, we now ask how we might rid ourselves of these unwelcoming visitors. …

Nowhere else I know do so many large mammals voluntarily share their relative innocence with so many of us. For 30 years, I have practiced obstetrics, and this past March for the first time I witnessed a truly natural birth - there on the sands of La Jolla. I felt what I can only describe as a humbled exhilaration, a connection with nature that is too easily forgotten. …

We hide too much of the ground with asphalt, we hide ourselves too often behind closed doors, and we busy ourselves making a living, closing our eyes to the natural world that sustains us, and leaving ourselves too little space and time in which to live.

I sorrow a bit when I see grown men and women seriously propose we disperse the neighbors who have so graciously come to our door. …

Advertisement

Let us be responsible and respectful of that which represents us there at Children’s Pool and let that respect enlarge itself elsewhere, or we may find many of our companions on this planet soon extinguished and the Pacific shoreline of a warming planet swallowing up La Jolla Cove and Children’s Pool itself, making moot our present argument. …

If we are not sensitive and vigilant in our conduct toward nature, in supporting and sustaining that which supports and sustains us, then our very culture, our economy and our legal arguments will grow incrementally less consequential. …

Welcoming the seals will not save the planet. But along with the proportionally symbolic acts of recycling and protecting the habitat of the spotted owl, they remind us of our connection with everything that surrounds us.

Let us adopt of bit of Henry David Thoreau who, more than 150 years ago, wandered into a hall in Concord, Mass., and proposed that, “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.”

Advertisement

Let the seals amuse us, educate us and continue to remind us of our duty. And let them remain close at hand so they are always before our eyes. …

Dane Winkelman, M.D., is a La Jolla resident.