Saturday, December 3, 2005

The Snag

The wetlands beckon the hawk with a silent cry from the wild and she glides above them gracefully, effortlessly, alert, watching. The sky above her is bright, blue, beautiful and big. Below her stretches the silence - vast, resolute, infinite. Patches of water, interspersed with the patches of grass lay basking in the sun, soaking in the gentle warmth. The wind ripples the water creating a sparkling carpet of silver. It then takes the message to the grass, tickling it on the way.

A group of geese waddle on the grass and jump into the water, their timid little youngsters in tow. There are some ducks in the water already, and also a swan or two, living, loving, floating, eating. They all make way for the geese and the lake suddenly turns into a symphony.

A pair of squirrels chase each other in a jolly game of hide and seek as they take their food deep into the grass to bury. A Coyote watches them intently and then reconsiders her concentration as she has already had her meal. She then forgets about them and stretches in the sun, gently closes her eyes to snooze away in the warmth.

The hawk glides on. Her ears now begin to catch a distant, but incessant buzz. Far away she can see a wired mesh, stretched for miles, on the edge of the wetlands. Beyond that, is the world of the Man.

Wreathed in a miasma of smoke and dust, a freeway runs by the mesh, incessantly pouring in cars, more cars, bigger cars and noise, more noise, louder noise. The cars compete with each other ferociously, unforgivingly as they try to get ahead faster. The ground shakes with the force of eternal hunger and the ruthless chase of man.

The wired mesh is the only thing that separates the world of God from the world of Man, but that too is as fragile as the will of the Man. The hawk watches the two worlds, still trusting and loving, the world of the God.

Suddenly, an ugly, angry noise tears through the silence of the wetlands and the noise of the men. An enormous truck on the freeway has lost control and it comes hurtling towards the wired mesh. The sound of screeching tires and the stench of burning rubber fills up the atmosphere as the cars on the freeway scatter to avoid the juggernaut. The truck hurtles towards the mesh and creates a snag in it. It then enters the wetlands.

Two pairs of tire marks create a black, ugly gash in the grass. Splinters of glass and plastic lay strewn over the land and in the water. The mesh lies twisted, like a breach of trust.

The Coyote gets up, startled, and runs for her life. The squirrels, terrified, drop their food and hide deep into the grass, trembling. The geese round up their young ones and waddle away, cackling. The ducks and the swans fly away, in disgust.

The hawk, waits, watches and turns away, hungry and alone.

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