And they discovered something very interesting: When it comes to walking, most of the ant’s thinking and decision-making is not in its brain at all. It’s distributed. It’s in its legs.—
I drive through the woods late at night,
the headlights illuminating the tree trunks,
and I notice their circumference.
Some are thick and round,
and I pay reverence to them
for their heartiness and resilience;
they are the elders of the forest.
The thin ones get my attention, too.
They fill in the gaps on the earth’s surface here,
growing in any patch of dirt,
a survival of the fittest contest,
where purpose and resolute are instinctual.
My eyes follow the giant stems to the top.
I can’t see the tree tops in the dark,
but I focus on the stars in the sky.
My perspective surprisingly rises up to the stars
and I find myself looking down at the earth,
and I see the road on which I am driving.
“I am an ant,” I think,
“and the trees are blades of grasses”.
This thought penetrates my body
and invokes a craving for more thought on the subject.
Suddenly, I feel as small as an ant.
I think about ants and how they always seem
to be coming and going from somewhere.
What do they do at night? Do they sleep?
What do they do for fun? Do they play?
Do they enjoy eating? How do they poop?
Such strange questions to ponder,
and I don’t know the answers.
I just know God made ants for a reason,
and they are very clear about their purpose.
What’s my purpose?
The question begs me for an answer
and I open my mind and start thinking.
I begin by wondering about the nature of all humans.
Why are we here and if we were on autopilot mode,
what would we be doing?
I imagine an earth filled with moving specks,
coming and going from somewhere.
Unlike the ants, I know what types of things they are doing.
Walking, driving, cooking, eating, sleeping, loving,
fighting, crying, killing, stealing, hitting.
Humans are complicated.
I bring my focus upon myself,
driving on this road in the woods,
which now has turned into a suburb
of houses, lawns, and driveways.
What does that look like from the stars?
I find that I feel lighter,
like the pressures of my life have lifted
and my worries have disappeared.
I stay in that space and think about my life.
Does anything really matter?
Am I really just a small speck in the whole scheme of things?
Of course I am.
If that is true (which it is),
then what’s the point of it all?
Why am I even trying?
I am quiet.
“Because,” I hear.
Just like the ants were put on the planet for some purpose,
so was I,
I realize I don’t even need to question it.
I just need to keep moving and enjoying the path.
It’s really not so complicated;
quiet my ego,
shed my fears and concern,
go with the flow,
get out of my own way.
Be the ant that I am.