A Tough Act to Follow
copyright by Morgan McFinn
hen the jubilant buoyancy of spring begins to insinuate its cheerful aspect upon the doldrums of a pale and dissolute realm, our thoughts tend toward a joyful nativity. It is the season for renewal and regeneration; a time of blossoming colors and fragrant aromas; a time when we may swell with the opulent sentiment of Gerard Manley Hopkins that "the world is charged with the grandeur of God."
Not surprisingly it’s also a time when boys and girls who fancy themselves men and women, and men and women who fancy themselves as boys and girls feel particularly ardent in their desires for carnal intimacy. What is surprising is that up against the ages of historical precedence for this activity, the recent generations of human beings are not interested in harvesting the crop of their commingling seeds. They are, however, virtually fanatical when it comes to protecting and preserving the livelihood of every other animal, plant, and vegetable species on the face of the earth. The laws of nature will, despite our efforts, continue to take their toll as a means of maintaining an equilibrium of order and balance while, at the same time, furthering the progress of evolution.
As recently as 250 million years ago, nature eliminated an estimated 96 percent of all species on earth. Five major extinctions have occurred over the past 450 million years. Global sea levels have been altered by hundreds of meters, entire continents have radically shifted position, and atmospheric temperatures have risen and fallen dramatically….
Save the spotted owl?
And what about the process of evolution?
Surely Mother Nature, who some of us profess to admire, is laughing at our inane, and what is worse, arrogant attempts to usurp her power.
It is also incredibly ironic that those of us who are most critical of a polluted atmosphere are guilty of polluting our own physical environments with alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, and bleached, beaten, and burnt foods which are devoid of enzymes and nourishment. And when ill, we submit unreservedly to debilitating pharmaceutical toxins and surgical butchery.
Have another bacon cheeseburger folks.
Personally, at this time of year, I too have an overriding urge for . . . well, for sensual adhesion to the opposite sex. Lately however, the opposite sex seems to have opposite inclinations with regard to myself.
This doesn't particularly bother me. At my age, one more variation on the theme isn’t going to make much difference. This year I’m involved in an interaction equally representative of the season, but not quite so emotionally demanding. I've been planting palm trees, and—after all—if your sex life has become marginally solipsistic, what could be more appropriate than planting palm trees?
The foreplay involved in sowing seeds with Mother Nature is commonly referred to as spadework. I had to uproot a lot of weeds and similarly unattractive aspirants playing courtship around the immediate theater of my verandah. I turned the soil several times a day, hoping to stimulate a favorable reception prior to inserting my seeds, which had already begun to sprout foot-long stems.
In springtime, Mother Nature is generally self-lubricating, with afternoon showers and lots of morning dew. During the past month, I've come to realize how much killing is involved in bringing forth the life of a new plant. Every four or five days you've got to rake away the weeds and the aptly named crab grass that otherwise steal nourishment from your babies.
Plants, as we all know, are organisms that carry out photosynthesis, have cellulose cell walls, complex eukaryotic cells, and are immobile. They require sunlight and water—though not too much of either—for felicitous development. So far, six of the eight coconut palms I've planted are progressing very nicely. Two of them are, admittedly, having their problems. I don't know if they're genetically retarded or just being difficult.
It's the same with all children or any new-fledged foliage as the case may be. The ones that are doing well are a source of pride. They're nice to look at, and—of course—plants don't make much noise, which is a plus as far as I'm concerned. It's a thrill to wake up every morning and see the little growth of their joyful beings. There is a good deal of satisfaction in realizing that I’m contributing some adornment to the ample bosom of our marvelous planet.
Up until recently this earth meant little more to me than something that was convenient to walk on. Now I'm growing palm trees, interacting in a positive way with nature, beautifying my environment, and—for whatever it's worth—eliminating a small portion of available walking space for my fellow dreadful human beings.
Some experts would have us believe that, like millions of species that have come and gone over the last three billion years, man, too, will someday pass into extinction. All of these experts are of course humans, and oddly enough, a growing number of them seem to be making these forecasts of doom with an unmistakable note of haughty self-righteousness and sanguine anticipation. It isn't likely that suicide will become a popular option for these experts, so it’s to be assumed that mass extinction of the human race will occur some short time after they have lived full and highly distinguished lives floridly chronicled in the obituary columns of their prestigious national newspapers.
Bon voyage homo sapiens . . . it's good riddance to bad rubbish.
However, after man has made his final exit, then what?
Well, a recent study indicates that the remaining repertoire of earth- bound creatures will consist of dandelions, cockroaches, sparrows, and rats.
Somehow that doesn't seem to be the cast of characters likely to mount the sort of spectacle God had in mind when he first put this show on the boards.
Imagine going to the theater to watch a histrionic performance starring small, brownish-gray birds, ugly brown insects, long-tailed rodents, and a chorus of weeds. What kind of drama or comedy or song and dance could they possibly produce that would be the least bit entertaining?
As for romance . . . I mean really, do rats and cockroaches fall in love? Would they try to save the whales if the whales weren't already dead?
Of course not.
And, on a personal note, I would just like to add that dandelions, left unchecked, will suffocate my palm trees, which would really piss me off, except I won't be here to care about it. Nobody will be . . . and then what?