Over dinner today we watched an old Smithsonian IMAX movie about beavers. It begins with a pair of beavers stalking the country side looking for the perfect real estate.They find it.
It’s a flowing stream in a lush valley with tall trees and even taller mountains to protect them. They decide that this will be home. And with that they start building–not just for hours or a day. They work for almost a year. They fell more than 400 trees, drag them to the water, strategically build the dam and their home to be protected from the elements of bad weather, from predators, from shortage of food, from flowing waters.
Their tenacity results in survival.
The first year sees the completion on the dam and lodge and a new generations of babies. Some beavers leave the pond in search of another pond and beaver hotties, but most remain in the ancestral dam.
Other than a few family leaving every year, life for the beaver is the same mundane cycle–care for the young, teach them into adulthood, renovate the dam, repair the house, hoard for winter. Over and over, will be the same humdrum for that beaver life. Year after year for about the life of the dam–about 100 years.
But there is value in that mundane life. What the beaver does day after day makes his home the home of other critters. Their work is not just for themselves; by damming the water and allowing the sandy soil to settle down, fragile plant and animal life are able to survive.