When I walk the park in Berlin, I see old oaks, chestnuts, and birch trees, surrounded by common snowberries and hawthorn, and the meadow covered in plantain and dandelion. While walking the meadow, I am surrounded by martins. I want to care for these beings around me, yet I don’t know how. I think they would like a glass of water. Or maybe some nitrogen and earthworms.
How am I to provide care?
All I can do is notice. To notice that the chestnut’s leaves turned brown, to notice the many dead moles beneath the hawthorn that started to carry plenty of berries. While I can’t do much for these beings in the park in Berlin, I can notice. And I came to understand the practice of noticing as a responsibility. Even if I can’t act on the world around me, my responsibility is to know the world.