Does anyone off hand and perchance know what a dead rodent smells like? I did not know until today. The former vermin, if indeed a rat, passed away in the wall, or floor, or ceiling of a building. Specifically the building I spent most of my day in.
At first the effluvium was thought to be sewage. Another deluge further blanketed our already rain soaked ground last night so a septic overflow was not out of the question. As the hours ticked by, the latter explanation for the malodourous stink seemed less likely. Finally, confirmation came via the sophisticated proboscis of a Parson Russell. The rat terrier couldn’t keep away from a certain spot in the room. Thankfully, I neither have the jolly job of finding the carcass, nor do I have to return to the space of a few days. Whew!
Of course, all of this fetid smelliness was a splendid reminder about the natural world and us, and how well we all manage together, for the most part. When we do, we do so brilliantly, but when we don’t…oh dear.
And “oh dear” can be anything from the gazillion poisonous fumes we puff into the air, to toxic waste we spit by the barrel full into our oceans and rivers, to the destruction of a species for no other reason than wanton greed. Since we’ve been polluting, stressing, and making vainglorious attempts to redesign our home willy-nilly now for more than a century, we’ve sped up the natural evolution of this pretty green planet, knocking it a bit off balance. The adage about not biting the hand that feeds comes to mind, yeah?
But I cannot point fingers. I drive a car and take long showers, use fabric softener and even bleach on occasion. I do not eat flesh, but still wear leather shoes. I buy my sparkling water in plastic bottles. Worse, I don’t know where all my clothes come from or whether or not I’m supporting fair trade businesses. Oh yes, that’s part of it! Still, I do care. And I am trying. And that’s really what matters. It would be fun to do more though.
When I wrote the other day about love (again), I thought, but didn’t write about forgiveness (again). What I concluded was healing happens only when forgiveness is present. Love is the constant. A collaborative effort for sure. Aha! I then asked, (no one was listening) “Can we love enough to ask for forgiveness as a collective and therefore heal as a collective?” Once in solidarity, the healing would become like a contagion. History is rife with stories of mass change. Being a part of such a glorious one would be an ecstatic pleasure.
It all makes my wish tonight a no brainer. And really simple. I wish for respect. Respect can lead us in all kinds of directions, but like kindness, compassion and gratitude, it changes one for the better. It is impossible to respect yourself without respecting others. Respecting all life, from the simplest to the most complex, is a great first step, I think. And okay, it might not be that simple. But whether I make little changes or big ones, it doesn’t matter as long as I’m moving around respectfully. I might not like rats (even those called Ben), but I want to respect their rights to be. There is room for all of us.
Respectfully until tomorrow…