It feels sometimes like I spend most of my time driving these days.
I deliver the mail in the same 67 mile loop everyday….in the same direction, of course.
I do not deviate.
I am not a deviant rural carrier.
While I drive, I listen to the satellite radio I bought this year.
Yesterday, I listened to NPR all day.
I heard about diabetes in Indian tribes….about how the war/wars are going….about the financial situation….I heard about a lot of things.
One of the things that I heard is that millions of starfish are dying on the West Coast.
Apparently, it’s something that’s damaging their food supply that’s killing them all…the starfish like to eat mussels that are really efficient at storing toxins in their bodies.
That’s the hypothesis, at least….nobody really knows why they’re dying.
Of course, in the same hour I heard that the acidity of the oceans was rising to alarming levels…and I think that I heard a little more about the polar icecaps melting, too.
I know people who might think, “Hey! Quit talking about these stupid starfish! They’re on the West Coast…they aren’t even around me!! Who cares about these stupid starfish and whether they live or die!! Quit talking about the stupid starfish already….”
I get worried when I hear about the starfish…or the honeybees…or maybe even a snail darter or some other little fish that I’ve never seen before.
I get worried a little because I think that we really are connected to everything.
Maybe (probably) on a cellular level.
The air that I breathe out is breathed in by someone in China…maybe years later.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” is pretty important advice…when you imagine that there’s not that much that really separates you.
And, if you’re doing that “good”, and really loving yourself ….then the rest of the world is going to be in great shape when you try and take care of them, too….right?
There’s not that much that’s different about us….any of us….any of the living things that we are surrounded by.
“Hey!!! I ain’t no cat!! I’s different from a darned cat!!!”
Yeah….different….but kind of the same, too.
So when I hear about something that doesn’t really affect me directly…like a starfish out West dying…it makes me kind of nervous.
It’s a tiny little world….after all.
After all, the world is small and the breeze is strong and what doesn’t work for you 3,000 miles away is a whole lot closer than I’d like to believe.
We are affected by everything that happens.
Sometimes it just takes a little while to come back around again….so we don’t really have a chance to notice it immediately.
If someone punches us in the face, we feel it right away…but what led up to the punch might be years in the making.
We used to read to the kids on the backpacking trips that I led when I worked at summer camps.
One of the stories that I liked to read was called “A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury.
The story talks about how a small change can set future events off on weird and horrible tangents.
In the story, it’s a single moth that’s damaged/killed during a time travel “safari” that sets off catastrophic events.
Sounds pretty darn plausible to me….
Here’s a movie that was made of the story……
It’s not a really good movie. The story is great, the movie….not so great…but it’ll give you an idea of what the whole deal is about.
I should probably just change the station…there’s so much weirdness in the world.