My late younger brother was a practical joker, and he reserved his best jokes for me. For example, there was the time we all went camping.
My brother knew I loved nature, and he knew I loved taking kids on nature walks. So, with everyone else in on the joke, he placed a big black rubber snake under a rock on the trail.
“Rose, he said, “why don’t you take the kids on a nature walk.”
“Great idea,” I said, “Come on kids. Remember, use all of your senses.”
“Why don’t you lift up the rock,” my brother suggested.
Ha! Ha! Everyone is still talking about that day!
Tuesday, April 22 is Earth Day. I am dedicating this Earth Day post to my brother, Joel.
At the wonderful Hudson Valley Writers’ Center( http://writerscenter.org/), we were asked to write something from someone else’s point of view. Here’s what I wrote about the creatures whose lives were changed by my rock turning.
An Earth Day Story Written by a Bug
Strong of back and stomach, the Rock Turner is a home wrecker. It could be a perfect Tuesday morning; everybody’s eating and working and moving around prey. Then, the evil Rock Turner, in one heave, slices away the bonds between soil and stone that we hold sacred. Some of us cling desperately to the undersurface as we are ripped from our homes and thrown aside. Others remain behind, exposed and naked. It’s every man for himself when the Rock Turner rolls in. Even our grubs are up for grabs. After the initial shock, the tearing apart of our homes and the feel of the hot sun on our backs, we run for our lives, at least those of us who are not yet pupae. There’s nowhere to hide. Our gullies and ditches and secrets are open. Our way of life is up for scrutiny, and we may not measure up to expectations.
The Rock Turner’s compulsion has decimated us. Does he know how many years it takes to get started, to settle in and build a home? Does he care? Last Saturday, the buzz was out that he must have had a reconsideration. A reconsideration, that saved the gang under the large quartz and granite flat top on mossy hill.
“Don’t look at the bright light,” adults called to their nymphs. “You will be blinded. Look away. It is the apocalypse.” Some of them, more religious than others, followed the bright light. For them, the uncovering was divine. The reconsideration ended all that. The Rock Turner replaced the large quartz and granite flat top on mossy hill and life went on, although it was never quite the same again.