Stewards! Start Your Engines

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In the weeks to come you will be seeing many images of dying birds and ocean life. In the mean time, take a look at this boy with his feet in the white sands of the Gulf of Mexico and read what his mother writes about these last days of white beaches...

boy in white sand.jpg
photo credit: Jeri Shaffer

Even with the threat of bad weather, the beach was packed. Unlike the previous week, the crowd was eerily quiet. There was no music and no small talk. We all stood staring out across the sugar white sand and watching the waves crash into the shore. A group of kids played volleyball and a father tossed a football to his son, but even these activities were low key and quiet. We walked down the beach, watching our children play in the breaking waves and wondering when another day at the beach would be possible for them. Everyone on the beach seemed to be in a stunned silence. The sadness was palpable.

I have lived within 30 miles of this spot my entire life and I have never seen so many people taking pictures. I snapped pictures, too. I want our children to remember the beach that we have always known. Our youngest child will be 3 years old at the end of May. I took a picture of his tiny feet in the sand knowing that he won't remember today. I don't know what the beach of his childhood will look like, but I wanted to give him a small piece of the beach I came to love.

I'm a fan of church hymns. They give us a glimpse into the thoughts and prayers of many generations before us. On Sunday, I am sure by coincidence, the last line of the last hymn we sang was...

"...bring good news to this and every age, till earth and sky and ocean ring with joy, with justice, love and praise"

How's that "ocean ring with joy" thingy goin' for ya?

There's an old joke about the congregation of a church all leaving the Sunday service so fast that it looked like a car race. One of the congregants jumped on the hood of his car and yelled "Christians-- START YOUR ENGINES."

My fear is that as we consume every last resource on this planet we will take down all of G-d's creation along with us. I picture a large whirling funnel flushing down the Meadowlarks, frogs, whales, and pelicans along with us. What is the answer? Probably a new austerity- a completely new way of living. "I bring you a new commandment 'loves others as I have loved you.'" Sunday's gospel.

Hear the call-- Stewards! Start Your Engines. Wait- reverse that.

4 Comments

Well said. I am pleased that BP seems to be attacking the problem head on vs. Exxon of 20 years ago. And I since I grew up at Trinity in Clinton I can assure you that during the Fall in the late 60s and early 70s the bell rang at 11 (I was one of the kids who pulled the rope) and the sermon was timed to the minute and you would be home in time for the Vikings kickoff at Noon. The oven timer went off the same time as the kickoff from September through December. That was a time.

Expert Recommends Killing Oil-Soaked Birds
by egk

A German biologist says that efforts to clean oil-drenched birds in the Gulf of Mexico are in vain. For the birds' sake, it would be faster and less painful if animal-rescue workers put them under, she says. Studies and other experts back her up. "Kill, don't clean," is the recommendation of a German animal biologist, who this week said that massive efforts to clean oil-soaked birds in Gulf of Mexico won't do much to stop a near certain and painful death for the creatures.

Despite the short-term success in cleaning the birds and releasing them back into the wild, few, if any, have a chance of surviving, says Silvia Gaus, a biologist at the Wattenmeer National Park along the North Sea in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. "According to serious studies, the middle-term survival rate of oil-soaked birds is under 1 percent," Gaus says. "We, therefore, oppose cleaning birds."

My daughter has been in such despair about this catastrophe, I can hardly bear for her to listen to the news any more. And the oil is still gushing out into the gulf...

I am not so sure that I agree with the comment about BP attacking this problem head on. To me it seems to be quite the opposite. I sure hope that it is not a decade or longer before the water and the beaches are back to where they were before this happened.

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on May 3, 2010 5:46 AM.

Little Tofu on the Prairie was the previous entry in this blog.

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