I picked the last apricot this morning. Slicing it open relieved that Cutworm had been inside, munching through the juicy flesh. The residue of her skillful tunneling was a slightly darkened trail flowing in one side of the fruit and out the other.
This got me thinking about how although I could describe Cutworm as a pest, what makes her a pest is how similar she is to me. I don't burrow into apricots, but I sure like to eat them. I don't suing from trees on a thin strand of silk, but I do like to climb in trees.
These similarities exist for most of the creature cousins my culture describes as pests. Cutworm and Slug and Potato Beetle and Rat and Wolf are all pests because they like to eat what I like to eat and live where I like to live. Cousins like Salamander and Turtle and Frog aren't described as pests because they don't like the kind of places I like or the kind of food I like.
Today, I will be thinking about how conflict can sometimes spring from sameness rather than difference. It seems to me that this change in awareness might illuminate a whole different set of possibilities for living together with those I might have considered pests or even enemies.