"The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence, we are diminishing our future."--Marya Mannes, 1958
The above words were written 52 years ago. Are they now beginning to come true? It's been a strange summer; no, I take that back...it's been a strange few years...from the warm snowless winters to the seemingly almost constant rainfall to last year's cool summer and now this unbearable heat and humidity that has started early and is showing no signs of ending soon. Is Mother Earth taking her revenge? No, she is far too kind for that, but perhaps what she is doing is giving us a jolt, trying to wake us up before we destroy everything altogether.
Saturday was my bi-weekly food shopping day. I always go early in the morning to get it out of the way. Well, when I turned the corner and neared the park, I was nearly shocked right out of my shoes. Why, if it wasn't for the heat and humidity, I would have sworn we had skipped right through summer and entered the fall. Leaves of all shades of brown, red, yellow, and orange were covering the sidewalk, crunching under my feet as I walked by. Then, looking up, I saw that there were many more leaves of various shades....far from the lucious green you would expect at this time of the year.
"When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover that you cannot eat money."
Animals...or better yet...wildlife. As we continue to encroach on their territories, they now begin enter ours...black bears in New Jersey towns, coyotes attacking little girls in the New York city suburbs...and now, we've discovered that we have an oppossum...and probably more...that travels into our back yard. I don't know much about them, but from what I have read, they do attack other animals. So, I am wondering...is it possible that it is the oppossum that killed that poor little squirrel the other day? And, if so, should I worry about the kittens?...who, by the way, I haven't seen since the day the squirrel died. If anyone can tell me something about the oppossum, it would be greatly appreciated.
And finally, today is the day of Manhattanhenge or Manhattan Solstice, an event that occurs twice a year when the setting sun aligns with the East/West streets of the main street grid in the borough of Manhattan. I've seen it several times...and I must say, it is truly a sight to behold.
"Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves,
All things are bound together.
All things connect."
--Chief Seattle, 1854--