You need to meet these two.
That is George on the left. He is more formally called Achatinella apexfulva. A species of snail.
That is Toughie on the right. A Rabb's fringe-limbed tree frog.
They were endlings.
Endlings are the last of their respective species.
When the species its down to its endling, it is "functionally extinct."
Another way of saying, unable to breed because they are literally
All alone in the world.
They are no more.
George died earlier this year in January 2019.
Toughie died in 2016.
A scientist, a human named David cared for George for years.
A kind of hospice.
A sad duty to care for endlings.
It happens over and over again and more frequently than ever across the planet.
When Mark, Toughie's caregiver, heard Toughie vocalize two years ago
Singing for a mate,
There was no other frog like Toughie on the planet to hear his song.
Both George's and Toughie's kind died off because of humans needing
what humans need and not paying attention to how our need affects other creatures.
And even worse, not caring.
People like David and Mark and their colleagues spend their lives....caring.
I like sharing the planet with people like David and Mark.
It gives me hope.
Reason No. 3,598,422 why creation amazes me.
The New Caledonian crow has cognitive abilities, can use tools or even create tools, solve problems to achieve a goal such as a morsel of food.
If you don't believe me, I understand. So check it out for yourself. Search for a video on a crow named 007. Or click here.
The more I discover about this amazing planet on which we get to hang out for our lifetime, the more I want to care for it.
Campground rules in state parks are filled with phrases like: Leave no footprint, pick up your trash, leave it in the condition or better from how you found it.
I wish there was a program where we could all trade in our arrogance - that character flaw that convinces us that we are so superior to everyone and everything.
Our arrogance that is fed by our greed and consumption. Our arrogance that someone else will pick up our trash. We don't care where the trash goes or what it harms or kills.
I wish there was a program where we could all trade in our arrogance.
It would leave much more room to re-grow our sense of wonder.
You know, wonder....that feeling you get when you watch a crow figure out a problem faster than you could.
The 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 - landing on the moon for the first time - is next month. I remember the grainy images and the garbled voices on the television. The WOW of it. The standing in the history of it. I participated by watching. I did what everyone on earth could do at the moment if they had a tv. I watched. It was Apollo 13 - the mission most famous for what went wrong that gave me the image that I used most often. It was depicted in the movie recounting the mission. The scene was the engineers in a room at NASA. A pile of items dumped on a conference table and the task simply explained: "we need to make this part fit to this part using only what these parts that they have up there." They did it. I have experienced that scene in different variations over and over again. A problem that is vital to be addressed - limited resources - the best minds and hearts on deck called to address it with their compassion, curiosity, and creativity. I see that scene being played out almost daily by those who are doing recovery work for Hurricane Harvey(yes, the recovery efforts are still far from finished). The task at hand is getting people into a house that is less damaged and unhealthy and made more whole. There are limited resources especially volunteers to do the work. The recovery workers create conduits for resources of volunteers and supplies and time and talent that are accessible in the moment to make rebuilding happen. It will not make a movie. It will not be heralded 50 years from now with celebrations and plaques. It takes people with the right stuff. People who understand that mission means participation. Mission is not a spectator sport. Mission is to love our neighbor with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. If we are not on that mission, we are lost in space.
Trust has never been a strong muscle of mine.
It got damaged early, often and severely by the time I was tip-toe in my teens.
I do, however, have a powerful muscle for survival.
I protected myself thoroughly and quickly.
It had side effects that would read as long as the fine print of any pharmaceutical prescription.
You know the ones that are so long you give up reading before you get to the line that says:
This could kill you. This could suck all the joy and the life out of you and leave you struggling for breath.
The atrophy of my trust muscle caused me to doubt my own ability to survive,
to make good decisions, to be imbued with the ability to recognize truth,
to be a vessel worthy of love and an aqueduct for joy.
Fear did a good job keeping me alive. I cannot fault it for doing that. I am grateful.
Trust in God did not come in a thunderstorm or a leap of faith or an act of obedience.
It is the only ancestral history that is more than a hobby. I look back and I see
the life-giving movement of the Spirit nudging a dehydrated soul to water. Time after time.
I look to the present and see glimpses what I only used to see in hindsight.
I take baby steps with healing muscles of trust.
When we pay attention, none of us are whole.
We are all in rehab.
When we pay attention, it is a good sign that we have been nudged alive into this new day.
It is a gift.
So when are you going to open it?
Deb Grant, resilient child of God, creative tinker of paper, ink, wood, shiny things, paint and words. The human amusement of a parrot and a dog.
Writer, poet, artist, human, citizen, learner, scruffy, goof.
Word Food by Deb is randomly published. More than weekly, less than daily at the following media sites: