Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Something Wonderful

When I was a young girl I would awaken in the morning and say to myself, "Something wonderful is going to happen to me today." Do understand - I didn't merely hope it...or wish it. I believed it. I trusted it. I went armed into the world wrapped in the warmth of it. Quite often something wonderful didn't happen. That never seemed to matter. Although totally unreasonable, the "not happening" never altered my belief that it would. When the next morning arrived I knew that something wonderful was going to happen to me that day.

At some point I stopped saying it to myself. I wish I remembered when, or how old I was, or why. It was some time after college, perhaps, but I can't be certain. It wasn't cold turkey but rather a gradual weaning off. Quite simply one day it dawned on me that I had lost it somewhere...somehow. I hated that I had lost it. It made me feel instantly older and burdened and very tired. Oddly sad and slightly darkish. Out of sorts. I mused, "Not with a bang, but with a whimper." And although he was writing about something far more serious and not about my lost belief, I nevertheless felt a kinship with T. S. Eliot.

I decided I would begin to say it to myself once again every morning and get it back. But I found it really is not as easy as that. What made it work for me...what made it real...was that I believed it - really and truly. I suppose life and experience take their toll.

But in all my years on the planet I have never awakened in the morning saying, "Something terrible is coming. Something dark and insidious with long, oily fingers reaching for the throat. Something mean and grim and seemingly unstoppable." Until now. Georgia has approximately 100 miles of coast - ocean and beach, marsh and wet lands. It is a fragile and tender place. It doesn't belong to us but we belong to it. The marshland in particular is quiet and hushed. Walking along a trail on Cockspur Island, 5 minutes from my home, I can hear the marsh sounds - frogs, fish jumping, gulls, rustling reeds. Traveling farther up the road one comes to the ocean and the beach and the sight of dolphin fins rising up and down in graceful arcs. The usual cast of characters, the terns, skimmers, pelicans, egrets and other birds are present doing what they do: preening, pecking, dozing, taking flight, diving, calling, filling the sky.

The most recent prediction is that the oil may very well be carried around the Florida Keys and up the eastern seaboard destroying life as it goes - a phosphorescent, unctuous, aquatic equivalent of Sherman on the march. There is even the possibility it will cross the Atlantic and despoil those shores.

I am angry. I am angry at a reckless and cavalier company. I am angry at the feckless, flatfooted and delayed response of Washington and our "leaders." (In quotes because I see very little leadership being displayed.)

I have heard that the gush may not be quelled until Christmas! How much of the coast I have come to love will remain?

Maybe private and government resources will work together to come up with a solution. Maybe we can put politics aside and bring together the worlds best and brightest minds in an effort to find an answer. Maybe if we all clap very loud Tinkerbell will live. Maybe something wonderful will happen tomorrow.


  1. Oh Grad, I certainly hope something wonderful happens especially in regard to the oil. Everyday it has broken my heart just a little more. I hope your coast is spared. I hope it doesn't take until Christmas. I hope the cap will help and the relief wells will work and this horrible horrible tragedy can be stopped before the whole gulf coast is dead. I hope and hope but every time the next attempt fails it gets harder and harder to keep hoping.

  2. Stefanie, it's all so sad. There are predictions that when all is said and done, it may take generations to restore our coastal environment. Some areas may never come back. So we sit poised, holding our breath...and say a two word prayer, "Please work. Please work."

  3. It makes me so sad too maja!! thats our beautiful home with beautiful memories!! lets all pray we can keep it alive!

  4. If we don't have hope (as you learned in the past), we don't get wonderful things. So like Stefanie I'm hoping hard. But I agree that a little nudging of all the resources available is also a good idea. I'll be thinking of you, Grad, as well as my other friends who live in that area of the world ... and trying to figure out, as you do, what we can all do to help.

  5. As you know, Graddikins, I'm a devout coastal dweller myself, and Llew and I have both been monitoring the news about this latest spill with mounting anxiety and disbelief. Some of the photos coming through - an oil-soaked albatross struggling to take flight sticks in the mind - are almost as dire as the catastrophic implications. I hope you're right - I hope something wonderful happens tomorrow, and the next day, and for all the days required to fix this mess.

  6. Your anger is justified. The relief well that we are waiting for as the "fix" is something that Canada requires oil companies to build at the same time they start building the drilling facility. Moreover, the recent Citizens United ruling of the Supreme Court means that companies like BP can pour unlimited money (like unlimited oil) into U.S. political races. I write about environmental catastrophe, but I have never seen a corporate crime as big as this one.

  7. It is terrible. The best we can hope for is that it wakes us all up, all of us who use and over-use oil, to the fact that we should economise and find other forms of energy fuel. I can't believe it's going on so long, and I just hope and pray every day that a solution is found.