gatineau morning.

gatineau morning.
photo by douglas mcarthur.

Friday, May 9, 2014

a brief moment in time.

at the bottom of this page i've posted a couple of pics of an ice-berg floating majestically off the coast of newfoundland, along with a few other photos i like. the iceberg pics were taken by a friend who was excited to see it up close and personal. she and her partner ran to the coast near their home when they heard it was heading there.

interestingly, i had only just been reading an article about how melting ice in the polar oceans is causing sea levels to rise world-wide. apparently, if the trend continues, there will be serious climactic ramifications and it will not be pretty. that iceberg presented itself just near st. john's the other day for all to see its glory, or perhaps as a warning that the end is near. but, let's face facts. many many people believed the human race would be done like dinner long before now: the atomic bomb was supposed to have done the job quite a while ago. acid rain was supposed to have washed us away. the mayans predicted our demise. i know a guy who continues to warn people going into the macdonalds on rideau street that the end is near, which may actually be more likely for those folks. well, it hasn't happened yet. but, there are always possible catastrophic events that can annihilate the human race. we are bombarded by dangers, warnings. there is no dearth of things to fear. it's no wonder more and more people are touring the diefenbunker for decor ideas and buying up cans of creamed corn in bulk.

since i put that article aside, and having viewed the beautiful photos, i wandered down to the water's edge to watch a sun-rise. glorious shards of light shot up over the low trees in the distance. reflected illusory silver flakes spread across the surface of the lake as i spotted a sea otter beside a neighboring dock. it dove in and resurfaced hardly a few feet away. showing off an easy breast-stroke-like movement, it glided back and forth slowly right in front as i made appreciative, affectionate clicking noises. eventually, it dove under the water and i didn't see it again. i watched for a long time, scanned the surface for any sign of it until, finally, i started back up to my house for a cup of coffee.

the article, on the 'science daily' website, was still on my ipad's browser. i was amazed to read, while sipping my drink, that there are scientists who have even gauged the likelihood of the different ways we may get wiped out. i can only imagine what dinner conversations must be like at their homes. apparently, we have a one in a million chance of being offed, for example, by an asteroid impact. there is a whopping five percent probability of extinction anytime before 2100 at the hands of molecular weaponry, a two percent chance by an engineered pandemic, a one percent possibility by a natural pandemic and then, of course, there's the old favorite bugaboo: nuclear war. we actually don't even need a war. there is a chance nuclear terrorism will send human-kind the way of the proverbial dodo bird.

that was enough light reading for one day. as early morning evolved into a full-fledged day, i set about raking some of the leaves lying in the yard. long strokes stripped away layers to reveal grass i hadn't seen for months. it was warm enough to slip out of my clogs, to feel the start of new life. some birds fluttered in and out of the car-port, building a nest for a family that was sure to come. a couple of neighbors drove by, carefully bumping through ruts in the road in front of my house. with the spring-time sun leading the way, i walked down to the post-boxes, smiling to myself as i recalled when i recently discovered a bump on the side of my head. it really freaked me out. for a brief moment in time i was convinced the lump was a brain tumor, but it turned out to be a spider bite.

a majestic iceberg existed for a brief moment in time as a separate form. it's melting off the coast of st. john's, merging with the ocean water it always was. perhaps it's not there just for everyone to see its glory or as a warning, but rather as a simple reminder that there is one life, one ocean of life, permeating all. 

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