0 9678 777 000 5675 245 0

Sunday, October 07, 2007
Me v. Nature

I live close enough to a decent-sized river that I am able to walk to it when I feel the urge. I enjoy going there, to see the state of the waterway, which is ordinarily serene, except when we get long periods of rain, and it runs out of its banks. I think I like it better when it's acting out, even if I end up with wet feet sometimes.

So, I'm down there today, sitting on the edge. Summer has been dry, so the river is pretty calm, and the water near the edge where I am is actually so slow-moving that some algae has grown on the rocks. It's not particularly nice looking, but it allows a large number of guppies, or some other small fish to swim around it and live off of it. It's a thriving ecosystem.

There are bugs, too, and some of them are interesting, like dragonflies, and other brightly-colored things that I don't recall the name of. There are also flies and bees, and a small, tan-colored flying bug, which I'm sure you've seen in your life, but probably don't know the name. I don't.

So, I watch this thing flitting around, and it lands on the surface of the river in a calm spot, and then, the surface tension has got this bug in a death grip. It's still flapping around, maybe aware, maybe not, and in a few seconds, it sinks into the water, and it's gone.

Alive. Dead. No big deal.

So I sat there, thinking about the natural processes that allowed that bug to be where it was it this particular moment: The egg it hatched from being laid, the brief incubation, emergence, the whole thing. And all of this might have taken place in the past couple of days, or maybe a few weeks, I don't really know. The river flowed on.

All of that effort and chance, to create this insect, which was now floating below the surface of a river. I don't know if this bug managed to procreate, and pass on its genetics to another generation of annoying shit that I'll end up swatting away in a fit of annoyance. No one knows.

And I thought, if I fell into the river, flailed away for a little while, and then sunk below the surface for good, in the larger scheme of things, would it be any different than that bug? And I don't really think it would be any different. The world would spin on, people would go to work, wars would rage, and that's probably all for the best.

It seems like that notion ought to bother me, but it doesn't. You get your time, you do what you can, you die. Why should I expect the rules to be any different for me that they are for bugs, dinosaurs, mice or whales? Death is what makes life important, because it's finite. There wouldn't be any value in it at all if it wasn't.

Not that I've observed a hell of a lot of value being placed in it anyway...


posted at 10:06 PM

maystar maystar maystar designs | maystar designs |
Get awesome blog templates like this one from BlogSkins.com