A Peek into an Unknown World

By Kelly Dulka

A while ago, I made a discovery that reminded me of the vastness of the unknown or unseen.  There are all kinds of references, both funny and fantasy, to worlds and places unknown to us: from the Keebler elves to the Hobbit and even a Journey to the Center of the Earth. I’d like to tell you about my discovery of an unseen natural wonder that really set me to wondering.

A few months ago while getting ready for winter, I was helping my husband replenish the firewood for our woodstove.  He was splitting, and I was stacking. As he was splitting the logs, the pieces would fall apart and to the ground. As I picked up one of the pieces, to my amazement I discovered a small, fragile mushroom growing INSIDE a knothole in the middle of the log. I was shocked, but it was an instant reminder that no matter how far I travel or how hard I try, much of the world around me I may never see.

Mushroom growing in a logIt also made me wonder about what else exists in nature around us in places that we’ll never know. Frequently we hear of a new discovery of an animal species previously unknown, or new sea life that exists far down in the ocean where humans have never been. These unexpected discoveries remind me of both the fragility of nature, but also of its durability and continuity. It seems that Mother Nature has been doing what she does best for years and years just fine, in spite of our mistreatment and the demands we place on her.

Imagine how much more beautiful our world could be if we all took the time to tend and care for her like she does for us. Maybe by picking up trash in a neighborhood park, or snagging a few plastic bags from the branches of one of her trees, or taking the few extra minutes it takes to recycle the oil from that Saturday afternoon oil change. It’s amazing to me that such a little time investment can make such a difference in this old world of ours.

Have you ever made a discovery like this that has made you rethink how you do things? Tell us about it.

About the author: Kelly Dulka works in the Office of Web Communications. She lives in Southern Maryland.