Musings: Thoughts About Halloween

One of the earliest jack o’ lanterns we carved

It’s Halloween, traditionally a day filled with costumes and candy. Since we moved to a rural area, we no longer have kids ringing our doorbell, but we’ve kept the spirit of Halloween in our hearts (and in past years, even a hopeful bowl of candy…just in case). This year, though, there’s just one package of Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups for any intrepid trick-or-treater that knocks at the door…and I’ve been looking for a more meaningful reason to celebrate the day.

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Haiku: A Fleeting Life

One of the ducklings died today. It was one of the last hatchers, the one with the most yolk that needed to be absorbed…which it did. Its navel had healed nicely and it seemed to be behaving normally until this morning, when it kept peeping, a sound very similar to a chick’s distress peeping. It wasn’t cold (it had easy access to the heat from “Mama Heating Pad”), its butt wasn’t pasty (I checked), and I saw it drinking. Its legs had grown stronger and it was much more coordinated today.

So why did it die? It’s a puzzle – there were no obvious signs of abnormality, it wasn’t injured, and even if it hadn’t eaten, its absorbed yolk could easily have sustained it through today. I know that I’m not going to have a definitive answer to this question, but I can’t help wondering if that duckling just wasn’t meant to live in this plane right now. I assisted it in hatching, and maybe it wasn’t meant to hatch at all…nonetheless, I don’t regret trying because the alternative (the duckling dying in the shell) would, at least to me, have been worse than it living briefly, interacting with other ducklings, dabbling in water, and being free of the confines of the shell. I’m just so sad that it never got a chance to take its first swim.

Wherever you are now, duckling, I hope you can swim, safely, to your heart’s content.

Haiku: High-Altitude Alliance

Clouds are endlessly fascinating – in the same sky, they can appear in myriad formations, forecasting weather and mesmerizing with swirling, fleeting images. Was that a dragon – or a bus? Regardless of what you see – whimsical or ordinary – look up (if it’s safe to, of course) – they may be shaping themselves into something extraordinary right at this very moment.

Poem: Goodbye, Bees

What will the world be like
When there are no more bees, trees, or frogs?
When scorched earth is our reality
And we breathe in choking smog?
We continue to generate scads of plastic waste
Build mansions of questionable taste
Kill off species at a unimaginable pace –
Are we proud we’ve trashed this place?
What awaits our children now?
Are clear blue skies and lakes unicorns?
Are we considering the future for mankind
As even more of us are born?
I asked you to recycle your plastic
And put your cardboard in the nearby bin
You laughed at me for having asked it,
And I knew, sadly, that I would not win.
There just aren’t enough who care
Plenty who talk the talk but won’t walk the walk
And plenty who are aware
And deluding themselves about this epoch:
Glaciers melting, record heat,
Dirty air, algal blooms, CAFO meat,
Tech “reality,”, rainforest burning…
But the world keeps turning.
Right?
For those who refuse to accept
What’s in front of their faces
Soon, differences won’t matter,
Like political affiliations, religions, races…
We’ll be struggling to survive
On the world we’ve taken for granted
And abused, neglected, and plundered
And we’ll reap the terrible harvest we’ve planted –
Because not enough of us care, you see,
About anything other than “me”,
Even though the world must operate as “we”…
And so much depends on the flight of the bee.

Musings: On The Perception Of Time

An arborist once told us that the big Silver Maple (that I like to think of as the guardian of this property) could be a hundred plus years old. How the world has changed in those years, including the land surrounding the stately tree…but the tree has many more years to live, so what seems like a long lifetime in human years may just be middle age for the tree. With a life expectancy of, say, 200 years, human perspective would surely be altered.

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