If you happened upon a spider web with a struggling butterfly held fast in its grip, would you release it and let the spider go hungry? You might, but most likely you’d let nature take its course. There would be the sticky web to contend with, and the spider could be hiding nearby, primed to rush out and claim his prize along with a bit of your finger. Best leave the butterfly to its fate.
Decisions, decisions. We all have to make them and that’s never easy. There are alternatives and repercussions to consider: If I turn left up here the distance will be shorter but the traffic will be heavier and the trip might take longer, but … what to do, what to do, and it doesn’t get easier.
Would you throw your body in front of a huffing piece of heavy equipment bent on clearing the wooded area that shelters your favorite walking trail? Maybe nothing so drastic as that, but what would you do? Go door to door gathering signatures to submit to the town council or silently lament the loss of your walking trail but do nothing to save it?
If you could rescue only one of three drowning children, other than the closest one to you or your own kin, which would it be? Or maybe you’d pop all three onto your small raft before sinking into your own watery grave. A lot depends on ... well, a lot depends on a lot, doesn’t it?
The tongue really is sharper than a double edged-sword, and more dangerous since you always know where to find it. How far can you be pushed before you feel a tongue-lashing coming on? Do you cut loose or weigh your options before your tongue comes into play? If all else fails, do you swallow your miff and trust your unresolved anger not to rile up your ulcer?
Ten years ago when I was feeling more than 10 years younger than I do today, I had to decide whether to let my back yard go native or do what I could to whip it into shape. A yen for order prevailed and I devoted time, strength and Herculean effort to rid the yard of a riot of monkey grass and the spiky roots of invasive bamboo, and I’m ever so glad I failed to complete the job.
It took the gifts of this highly irregular summer to make me admit that, but what if I had succeeded? There would be no orchid haze of blossoms hovering above row upon row of lush monkey grass crisscrossing my back yard today, and no impenetrable wall of giant bamboo sheltering me from harsh winds and abrasive noises.
With apologies to Bobby Burns, sometimes it’s not all that bad when the best laid plans of mice and men go astray.
MARJORIE ANDERSON is an Edmond resident.