This is a series of journals recording my days in the Yangtze River Headwaters volunteering project. I will try to update every day but there might be delays in the days I work in the wild without the internet. I’m also trying to write bilingual if time allows. Like it? Follow my Instagram (@anar.chica.yichenguo) for updates!
Early in the morning I walked towards the toilet with sleepy eyes. I raised my head and saw a herd of Tibetan gazelles and I stunned. The gazelles saw me and stunned, too. I opened the door of the dry toilet container, then they turned around eat their grass or relax. I guess the life of us humans here must be very simple in the eyes of the gazelles. Our area of activities is mainly limited to five containers, a big tent, the area for solar panels and sometimes the grassland between containers and the lakeside. Most of the time we stay from one concealed space to another without too much time outdoors. As long as we are within the area they they see as our territory, they won’t panic because of our appearance, even if we’re very close by. If I didn’t open the toilet door but instead keep moving forward until beyond the edge of the containers, it is very likely the gazelles would run away.
Today my little cutie pie grebe has got a flying insect on its neck while brooding. It stared at the insect for a long while until as if it has gotten crossed eyes. Finally it picked up and swallowed the insect with the long pointed beak. I laughed hard over the hilarious scene but suddenly realised that I do not have any sympathy for the insects. Numerous insects are eaten or beaten to death every day yet I don’t feel anything. Am I just respecting the law of nature? Then why I feel sad when other birds’ eggs are eaten by the black-necked cranes? I think after all humans are narcissistic and arrogant. The more similar the animals are to ourselves, the more empathy we feel for them. That ‘all lives are equal’ as believed in Buddhism is impossible to me. And the food chain in the nature itself is not equal. We can only say that all species are important in the ecosystem. But in terms of individuals it depends on each case. For example it would be an over reaction if you would rather itchy to death than kill a bloody mosquito. The blood sucking activity of the mosquito itself is highly risky. Humans are not the only animal that kills mosquitoes. Therefore evolution has gifted them with a strong reproduction ability. Killing the mosquitoes at home won’t affect the total species number and the birds won’t starve to death because of that either.
While the grebes are still brooding, the youngsters of the pallas’ gulls and brown-headed gulls have already grown long wings. These days we’ve seen them jumping on the ground with wings stretched out attempting to fly. Although until now none has succeeded, their courages worth an applaud. In contrast it is so strenuous for us modern people to learn new skills. How much time we have wasted in the school to learn theories. And when it comes to the actual practice, it is often unrelated to the theories or even opposite. Those who started from apprenticeship, however, learnt solid skills from the beginning and in the end may be even better with the theories than those who learnt theories to begin with. Because good masters also teach apprentices real and true theories during the practice. There are too much to reflect regarding the modern education system. But it is also closely related to the fact that the modern society is focusing too much on the flashy things that many doesn’t reflect the real capabilities at all. For example many certifications and qualifications. I’ve seen returned student from an English speaking countries typing the simplest words with the help of spelling out loud letter by letter. If you want to be a doer, or if you really want to do something, be like a young gull, start attempting as early as possible. Maybe it’s not that difficult and with some attempts you’ll be able to make it. Or, you’ll find it’s not suitable for you, then you won’t need to waste too much time not trying.