All Things Are Connected

The chief of a certain village had many advisors.

If there was something he wanted done, he would order it done, and it would be done. “Is it a good thing?” the chief would ask. Whether it was a wise decision or no, his counselors always agreed.  Those who did not were beaten.  There was one counselor who never said ‘yes’ and never said ‘no.’  This counselor would consider the matter and reply, “All things are connected.”

The village was located at the edge of the marsh.  At night when the chief couldn’t sleep, he became aware of the noisy croaking of the frogs.  Once it came to his attention, he found himself listening for it each night.  The sound annoyed him so much he ordered all the frogs killed.

“Do you agree with my plan?” he asked.  His counselors all agreed, except for the one, who warned, “All things are connected.”  “Pah!” said the chief, and that night he sent his people to the marshes to kill frogs.

They killed frogs and they killed frogs until there were no frogs left to kill.

“Ah,” said the chief. “Now I shall be able to sleep.”
That night he slept very well, and for many nights thereafter.

But one night he heard another annoying sound.  “Zzzzzz…Zzzzz…Zzzzzzzzzzzz…”

He summoned his counselors.  “The mosquitoes are worse than the frogs!  Why didn’t you tell me they would rise in swarms and eat us alive without the frogs to eat them? Tonight I will send my people to kill all the mosquitoes!” So they killed mosquitoes and they killed mosquitoes. But as many they killed, there were many more left. The mosquitoes made life so miserable that everyone left their fields and homes to start new lives far away, until the village was deserted, except for the chief and his family.

All day long the chief sat alone in his hut, swatting mosquitoes and muttering, “All things are connected.” But it was too late for the frogs. Too late for the village. Too late for the chief. Finally he too moved away.

The wise understand that all things are connected…

By the ground we walk on…

By the air we breathe…

By the the water we drink…

By the rhythm of the heart.

All things are connected…

…and hang by a delicate thread.

We too are living on the edge, and must find the balance between give and take.

Can we learn the difference between just enough…

…and too much?





What kind of world do we want to leave our children?

The answer is in our hands.

All words and images copyright 2016 Naomi Baltuck

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: Edge.




  1. Tish Farrell says:

    Just splendid, Naomi.

  2. scillagrace says:

    Marvelous! You connect story and pictures, your wisdom and your journeys, your understanding mind and your compassionate heart in such a delightful way. I’m so very glad to be connected to you, my friend!

    1. You are so kind, Scilla. I too am very glad to be connected to you, dear friend.

  3. brushstroke5 says:

    …and so I am connected to you through your blog and our friendship.

    -linda “sometimes it takes a village…”

    1. So glad to be connected as well, Linda!

    1. Thanks so much for the connection!

  4. Imelda says:

    What lovely photos and thoughtful story.

    1. Thank you, Imelda! It seems like a story for our times.

  5. galeweithers says:

    It was a pity I couldn’t like each photo individually, they were all that amazing. Well done, and thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Thank you, Gale, for stopping by and sharing such a kind response!

  6. Beautiful and meaningful. Great job. –Curt

  7. Beautiful post, Naomi! I love the tree frogs. xo

  8. Carol says:

    If only we learn to see, to hear, to think, openly, without prejudice.

  9. This is a beautiful response to the challenge. It’s also a challenge on its own, we are all connected, how easily we seem to forget that.

    1. Thank you for your generous response. It is always so good to hear from you.

  10. Wise and beautiful, Naomi.

  11. Reblogged this on cyclingrandma and commented:
    Read, think and vote responsibly.

    1. Thanks so much for the kind word, and for sharing, Lisa.

  12. I reposted and shared. The times they are a scary.

  13. scillagrace says:

    Hey, Naomi, can we put this in the September issue on Environmental Justice? Was that your intention?

    1. Hi Scilla, I wrote this specifically for The BeZine, but it seemed a good fit for the Weekly Photo Challenge, which would reach a different audience. I’ve already submitted a draft–changed a few words for this one, but you are welcome to include this and any other of my posts that you feel would be appropriate.

      1. scillagrace says:

        Great! Thank you so much!

  14. Naomi, well-said and beautiful illustrated.


  15. Yes. So glad cycling grandma sent me here this morning. All things are connected. ❤
    Diana xo

    1. Hi Diana,
      Thanks for the visit–so glad to meet you! And I am grateful to Lisa for helping us connect.

  16. Roy McCarthy says:

    It may take a cataclysmic event but one day we will all understand this and be all the happier for it.

    1. I hope so, Roy. Thanks for the visit, and for sharing your thoughts.

  17. Beautiful post. If we could all learn these lessons

  18. Lee Carlson says:

    I love this post. This is also the lesson of yoga. Singing of the sound of OM is to remind us that all things are connected.

  19. niasunset says:

    So beautiful photographs and meaningful post, I am connected too through your photographs and thoughts, Thank you dear Naomi, Love, nia

    1. Dear Nia, Thank you so much! Isn’t it amazing that we can share thoughts and photographs and stories–that we can meet each other and be connected through the miracle of blogging? So glad to know you! Love, Naomi

  20. Dina says:

    Beautiful post very well illustrated, Naomi.

    1. Thank you, Dina! And thanks for the follow. I look forward to following you as well.

  21. rebecca hom says:

    Thank you, Naomi! Beautifully illustrated…

    1. Thank you, Rebecca. I hope you’re well.

  22. Beautiful telling, beautiful frogs . . . beautiful connection! May we preserve our beautiful world. ❤

  23. Mary says:

    Naomi, your blogs are always great. Then sometimes you go off the scale of fabulosity. Like with this one.
    Thank you~ Mary

    1. Dear Mary, Thank you so much for the visit, and for your very kind response.

  24. Judith Black says:

    That story has more resonance than ever, and with your breathtaking photos it enters both eye and heart.

    1. Thank you, Judith! Had a retreat of the Story Sisters here this weekend, and you kept popping into my mind. So glad to be connected to you.

  25. Dahlia says:

    Loved the story the beautiful pics and the message

    1. Thanks so much for your kind response.

  26. I enjoyed your photo-story so very much! It is all at once exotic, familiar, a fairy-tale and down-to-earth!

    1. Thank you so much for the visit, and the very kinds words. Down-to-earth is the best description I can think of for this story!

  27. Grace says:

    Hi Naomi,

    I just love this piece! I haven’t been blogging in a while but what a joy it is to come back and read this. Thank you!

    1. Dear Grace, I have often wondered how you and your sweet little family are doing! It is wonderful to hear from you. Wishing you joy!

  28. Your story is so true, and a wonderful bit of advise for our times.

    1. Thank you, Charlie. It’s great to hear form you. I just learned about the Great Famine in China, where Mao decided he didn’t want to feed all the sparrows that stole grain, so he had them destroyed–millions of them, until they were on the point of extinction. The birds weren’t there to eat the insects, and it triggered a plague of locusts the destroyed the crops. It is an incredible true-to-life parallel.

  29. I love that story about the frogs and mosquitoes, and your further illustrations of the point being made. All so true, Naomi. I guess that chief was, like many of us sometime in our lives, wise after the event.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. Unfortunately, 20/20 hindsight is often too late. I appreciate your visit, and taking the time to comment. I hope you are well.

      1. I am well, thank you, now I’ve finally recovered from post-flu fatigue thanks to the healing effect of some flower essences I’ve been taking!

      2. I’m glad you are recovered, Sarah. What are the flower essences you are taking? My friend Meg worked WONDERS with tea tree oil in Scotland.

      3. I’m taking Jan de Vries “Relaxing Essence”, which contains tinctures of the flowers of Impatiens, Mullein, Dandelion, Mimulus, Elm, Aspen, Oak, Hornbeam, Bluebell, and Vervain.
        Tea tree is brilliant stuff. I’ve made up an insect bite remedy out of coconut oil and tea tree essence. My family agree that my homemade concoction works much better than any commercially sold insect bite treatments. If your friend lives in the Highlands of Scotland, doubtless she will need a tea tree lotion or spray to ward off the terrible midges in August each year!

      4. She was born inScotland, but lives in Australia, and there are many more vicious insects than midges to be eaten by in Australia. I am going to look for “Relaxing Essence.” What would you recommend for someone trying to shake a sinus infection, who is leaving for Taiwan in a couple of days? I’ll try anything!

      5. Eliminate milk and milk products from your diet, but if you can’t do without them, opt for goats milk (but not yoghurt as the bacteria they use in making yoghurt can cause histamine reactions which would worsen a sinus infection.
        Try taking the Chinese herb Astragalus. You can buy capsules, which you either swallow or use the powder to make tea. Make sure it’s of pure and standardised grade. Astragalus has wonderful immune-stimulating and antibiotic/antiviral qualities.
        There are also various homeopathic remedies, but I don’t think they’d be quick-acting enough for what you need. You can find a list of them here, as the choice of remedy needs matching to the exact symptoms
        Poor you, Naomi. Sinus infections are foul. Fingers crossed that you’ll boot it out, fast.
        Sarah x

      6. Thank you, Sarah. I will give this a go TODAY!

      7. Excellent! And one more thing, Naomi, don’t blow your nose too hard. Just blow it when you absolutely need to. If it’s dripping just let the drips drop into your handkerchief. If it’s stuffed up, only blow one nostril at a time, while closing the other one. This helps prevent the infection from spreading from one side of your nose to the other, if it’s a one-sided infection. And don’t exert any force at all behind the blowing. What won’t shift is best left there for the internal defences to deal with. Some people use nasal irrigation, but they need to know what they’re doing and I’m not convinced it is the best way. Gently does it, I say. You don’t want to increase the inflammation by going at things with a sledgehammer approach.

      8. Oh, my! Too late for that! I went out a bought a neti pot yesterday and used it three times, so I expect the damage is done, if the concern is about spreading the infection from one side to the other. I also got the astragalus and am using it as directed. I do thank you for all your advice! Fingers crossed–I fly out in two days!

  30. What a beautiful post. ❤

  31. Meg says:

    Great post, Naomi. I missed it first time … somehow. All your shots are classics and the chap chatting to the swan is marvellous. Wonder what the swan said? M

  32. I’m glad that kids now learn about food webs rather than just food chains. I think it helps to visualize this interconnection. Love your post!

  33. Gorgeous reminder ❤

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