Sweating and belching, the young mother rolls into the Emergency Room at precisely one minute before midnight.
The attending physician’s eyebrows take on the appearance of his last patient’s electro-cardiogram a moment before her death.
“What is it this time?” he says.
“My temperature is rising,” she rasps.
“Sweat streams like rushing rivers down my face. My feet burn. I can hardly breathe and my mouth is as dry as the Grand Canyon in August.”
His eyebrows cinch. “Has the stabbing pain in your lungs worsened since last you were here?”
She nods. “It feels like they’ve been stuffed into a wood-chipper when I exhale.”
“Ahhhh.” His lips flat-line. “And what of your heart?”
“It burns,” she groans. “Constantly.”
“I told you the last time you were here. It’s your children. They are the cause of all the stress in your life. Get rid of them and your troubles will be over.”
The mother gasps. “But I love them!”
“If they loved you as much as you love them they would take better care of you, instead of sucking the life from you with all their demands. They are what’s making you sick.”
“Not intentionally, I’m sure,” she quips.
“Nonetheless, from what you’ve shared with me, it is apparent they are selfish little buggers. All they do is take, take, take. You need to stop giving them everything they want. Your resources are finite.”
“But, they need me. Who will feed them? Who will teach them? Who will make a happy, comfortable home for them? They are still so young.”
“Youth is no excuse. Besides, many are smart and old enough to see that you are on the brink of a major breakdown.”
The mother trembles.
“You see what I mean? You are falling apart! The tremors will only worsen if you don’t start thinking of yourself first. ”
“No. I cannot.”
“Then it is time for them to take care of you for a change. You need relief – and you need it today. How many of them are there now?”
“Oh, you know I’m not good with numbers,” she sighs. “Last time I counted, there were seven-billion-one-hundred-ninety-seven-million-four-hundred-seventy-five-thousand-two-hundred-and-six…no, seven-hundred-eleven…seven-hundred-ninety-nine. Ach, it changes so rapidly with their comings and goings, I can’t keep up.”
“Never mind. The issue is not your memory. It’s your health. Look at you! In the 4.54 billion years I have known you, I’ve never seen you in such a state.
“Unless your children take better care of you, your hot flashes will continue to flare up, increase, and become more intense. You will lose all control of your fluids, and your skin will become even more patchy and dry than it is now.
“You have the worst case of climate change I have ever seen. That’s not to say that a good cleanse wouldn’t do you some good.”
“No! There must be something else I can do. What do you suggest?”
“It is up to them now.”
“But – ”
“No buts! I want to see you again in fifty years for a follow up. And Mother? Don’t look so glum. In time, you will be fine. It’s your children’s health that is now a concern.”
We are all connected, every person, plant, and animal – for every action we take, we effect our surroundings and one another. When I drink water from my tap, which 345 million fellow human beings do not have the luxury of doing, an average of 1200 plastic bottles and their caps will not end up in a landfill, in the oceans’ 5 gyres, or in some one or another albatross’s belly.
Small actions can effect great change. Turn off a light. Plant a tree. Walk to the store. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I’m sure you have your own ideas for taking better care of our planet and ultimately, ourselves.
If a single grain of sand can create this masterpiece when it joins forces with others,
imagine what we can accomplish together.
❤ HAPPY EARTH DAY ❤