Editor's Desk

Our ability to adapt ourselves to our environment has been on my mind lately, perhaps inspired by reflections about how well we would survive in Maine without shelter or the warmth we glean from our heating sources. Happily, our species is graced by the ability to enhance our life with technology, something we’ve been perfecting since we built our first fire. When we adapt, we survive.

Adaptation isn’t unique to humans, of course, and we can witness it all around us in the animals that have adapted to our shared environment in Washington County. The big gray squirrels that are so ubiquitous are not native, but they have adapted well to this environment (to the dismay of the little red squirrels). In fact, they’ve adapted well to many environments, earning them a spot on the World Conservation Union’s list of “100 of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species.” Being really adept at adaptation clearly has advantages for various species.

In our daily lives, practicing adaptation enables us to shift our ideas and opinions quickly, granting us a psychological malleability that helps us solve divisive problems and recover from setbacks. “The more you adapt, the more interesting you are,” writes Martha Stewart, reminding us that all challenges are opportunities to grow.

Lura Jackson