Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Molesting Nature

I used to live near a muddy creek. It was called a "resaca", but since that was not a word I was accustomed to, I thought of it as a creek. A very muddy, dirty one. I would never swim there. I would sometimes imagine trying to, could feel the mud slipping between my toes as I fought to grip hold, the dirty water entering my mouth, my nose, as I lost footing, and scrambled ungainly to shore.

No, I would never try to swim there. No humans ever did. But turtles visited this place, and swam happily amid the murk and grime, in between forays to the shore. Nature unmolested.

During the already parched months of June, the grass would turn brown and the water would seem even muddier than usual. So brown indeed that the blue sky above remained unreflected, dulled.

I never even sat near this water. I didn't want to. And even if one day I thought of considering it - say, to get a closer look at the turtles - I would have quickly changed my mind. Huge mosquitoes lurked nearby, the water's gentle ripple not enough to frighten them away.

Despite this, I loved living near this resaca.

Maybe I was just happy to be near water. Maybe the gentle ripples reminded me of other waters on far-off shores with sweet sweet memories.

Besides, nostalgia has a way of prettying a place up, making it look better than it actually is, filling that human need to see things sometimes as we want them to be, not as they actually are. And since when is using one's imagination a terrible thing? I don't think it is at all. In fact, I used to say that, all the time.

Until the day a neighbor decided to pour a natural dye into the water and turn it a bluish green.

This occurred in August of that same year. That summer it had rained and rained. The pundits on TV said that it was the effects of global warming, that places that normally stayed dry dry were suddenly wet wet, and places that were normally cold cold were suddenly hot hot. They said that humans' carbon footprints were too large and that we were upsetting the natural order of things. As proof, the resaca swelled and threatened to overflow it's banks. And the grass and trees around it grew lush and full. But the water remained a murky brown. As brown as a cup of weak coffee or stale tea, without cream.

Until my neighbor decided to go out and purchase this special dye. He did not ask our permission. He didn't think he needed to. None of us owned the resaca. Maybe the turtles did but asking their consent was not an option. And he tossed the cylinder of dye into the water. Within minutes, ripple after ripple of bluish green starting spreading across the surface of the water. I was surprised by how quickly it spread. I ran inside for my camera but by the time I got back, the entire resaca was already a bluish green.

I ran into my neighbors' yards, snapping away, trying in vain to capture the moment when the water turned from muddy brown to bluish green. But it did not take long at all, at all. I watched, mute, as the dye spread quickly through the water, coloring it, enhancing it, making the whole place pretty pretty.

I asked my neighbor about the turtles. Would they survive, did he know? He assured me that they would, that the dye was harmless. But I did not see a turtle for the rest of that summer. Perhaps they were still there, buried deep beneath the pretty surface, hiding in their safe places. I hope so.

Since then, I have committed to reducing the size of my personal carbon footprint on the earth. I don't call it going green because I now have negative associations to that phrase. It conjures up images of frightened turtles confused about the strange taste in their mouths, gulping stupidly as they choked on pretty.

No, I call it what it is. I'm reducing my addiction to pretty.

1 comment:

Văn Sát said...

Công ty vận chuyển hàng hóa trong nước chuyên nhận vận tải giá rẻ tốt nhất hiện nay. Hãy đến với chúng tôi, sàn giao dịch vận tải hàng hóa bạn sẽ được tận hưởng những dịch vụ vận chuyển tốt nhất hiện nay. Có thể kể đến dịch vụ tìm xe vận chuyển hàng hóa, vận chuyển hàng đông lạnh, tìm hàng hóa vận chuyển, vận chuyển hàng tươi sống, nhận chở hàng giá rẻ , dịch vụ vận chuyển hàng hóa bằng đường sắt, vận chuyển hàng đi Hà Nội giá rẻ... Và còn rất nhiều dịch vụ đang chờ đón bạn. Nếu như bạn có thắc mắc hay cần sử dụng hãy liên hệ với chúng tôi nhé.