I find more and more ironic-ish things in life that really show I need to keep life itself and all the little things that go wrong in perspective. It appears that we could let the small stuff continually and daily keep us from seeing the big picture and understand today is today, and not to trivialize all the junk that seems to come up.
I write this because last year I was witness to something that made me think about this and yet today, continue to bring it up in my head from time to time. It was something that I planned on writing a short story on but as you can tell, never got its wheels going. So I decided to enter this as a long overdue blog entry.
Here it is:
It was last year; I would say early to mid summer. As most American males, and I don’t leave out all the hard working woman of the land, but like most males (in my neighborhood) I trekked out on a Saturday afternoon for the weekly lawn mowing chore. In my backyard I have a shed that holds all of my treasured gardening tools, purchased to ensure my Garden of Eden stays that way. As I walk to the shed I pick up a few lost twigs which the maple in the far corner seems to shed each week and enjoys watching me from above picking up after it. Next to the shed is a rain barrel that is an essential eyesore in my backyard when the dry July/August weeks appear. I have the habit of peering into the barrel every time I walk by due to finding a few dead and rotting corpses floating in the pea green water. The bloated maggot infested gray squirrel was the grossest and by far had the greatest stench.
Today looking into the barrel, no rotting corpse of a tree crawling rodent or a starling that thought he could swan dive into the fifty-five gallon barrel without consequence. But I did notice a lone June bug floating in the center of the barrel, and not seemingly enjoying the chore. I watched him for a moment, really without much thought, and soon went about my lawn-beautifying chore.
I must admit I am a fanatic when it comes to my lawn and flower gardens needing them to look their best at all times. This being said, you can now understand that I may mow my lawn more than once a week just so the clippings aren’t to long, making the backyard look like the hayfields which are prevalent here in Wisconsin. I also have to disclose to you that if I don’t get to the lawn early enough and the clipping become too long for me to tolerate, I have a lawn sweeper that picks them up efficiently and with minimal effort.
Well it is now a week and again I mosey on back to the shed to start up the ole Briggs and Stratton engine to again trim away at the sea of green around my house. And again I look inside the dreaded rain barrel to see what the evil thing has captured this week, hoping it isn’t some decapitated raccoon, or the neighbors constantly barking dog. To my astonishment, I see the June bug floating in the imitation pond, his legs still pumping away trying to find the sandy beach. I remember thinking to myself that this could not be in any way the same June bug from last week. But off I went to trim away at the fine hairs of the backyard, keeping up with the broadleaved assassins who tirelessly try to take over the lawn.
Now it is week three of this little tale. Again it is time to mow the grass. It was a perfect day, clear blue skies and a hint of a southerly breeze that made the trees rustle just enough to make the maple seems alive. As I walk to the shed to retrieve the mower I perform my usual routine and peek into the rain barrel, which is quite full due to the rain that week. And as I look into the barrel I see nothing resembling a lost kitten or small primate that may have been lured into the barrel to meet its demise. But I do find…yes you guessed it! That damn June bug floating in the rain barrel, the water now clearer due to the refreshing rain captured off the roof of the shed. Now at this point I am in awe of this fat, sticky legged insect, for he is still kicking away trying to find some place that he can latch those sticky legs on to get out of the rain barrel. But now his efforts seem lethargic and I notice little clumps of white on his legs, though not sure what that is all about I think it is the same whitening we get when we lay in the bathtub too long, and our hands and feet get waterlogged and turn white.
At this point I am thinking enough is enough. This little June bug has withstood three weeks that I know of, in the rain barrel and is still adamant on getting the hell out. Here is where I decide to get involved and become the June bugs savior. I find a small twig, graciously donated by the maple tree and dip it in the water in front of the floating insect. After a bit the June bug realizes that this could be a good thing for him and latched his waterlogged limbs onto the stick with whatever strength he has left. Happy to help I then take the stick and set it on the lush green grass for him to dry off and get back his strength to continue his bug life for whatever that amounts to.
Now at this point I’m feeling pretty good about the whole thing. A beautiful day, a warm sun with a slight breeze to keep the sweat from forming those dark stains around the armpit area (you know the ones). Collecting my thoughts a bit, I now reset my priorities on the task at hand. Mr. June bug who is now comfortably sitting in the grass seemed to be doing just fine clinging to the green heaven, which I would think it would seem after being in a watery hell for three friggin’ weeks.
Looking down at him one last time and about ready to turn to get some lawn work done, in a split second a crow swoops down and snatches the June bug up and away he goes, into the clear blue sky, drenched by the warm sun, following the southerly breeze just to be eaten in the day of his deliverance. How ironic can that be? Saved only to be devoured by another means. Such is life. Enjoy what we have left of it because at any time, something could change the things we have now, leaving what we thought was mundane into the things we wished we could have again.