A couple of weeks ago, I turned on my porch lights at sundown as I usually do. I noticed that the light on one side didn’t come on. I assumed the bulb was fused, and went to take it out, when I saw that the light sconce was full of twigs and leaves. Over the next few days, a tiny brown bird was seen by everyone frantically flying back and forth with more twigs and leaves. I figured I could do without the porch light till she had moved out.
This week she is still frantically flying back and forth, now with insects as big and wide as herself – dragonflies, beetles, cockroaches – there is no dearth of these in Florida. She shoves these down the throats of her three little babies, who set up a great chirring and screeing every time she nears the nest. Earlier this week there was a tragedy in the family. Marley, one of the inmates of my house, also known as the land shark by the neighbors, caught and ate the daddy, so the poor female has to do double duty with the feeding. If Marley the cat is successful in making the mommy his post lunch snack, the baby birds will not live either.
It is a simple thing – the lives of birds. And cats.
And then there is the oil spill. Our lives are not simple. We need oil. A company that provides us with that oil is capable of decimating an ocean, laying our coastline to waste, and bringing to their knees thousands of people who want and need that oil. And also of ending those simple lives of all the pelicans and turtles and crawfish and oysters and millions of creatures and plants in the path of that awful red tide.
I drive an oil guzzler. If I am not personally responsible for this particular disaster, I am at least aware that I do not live a simple life. I take more than I can ever give to this planet. I don’t have answers, or solutions, only questions. And regrets.
I shoo the cat away from under the nest in my porch light.