I had a random thought at the zoo yesterday. There is a fountain near the entrance, a large round stone, etched like the earth that rolls on a gusher of water. Children are mesmorized by it. They run their hands all over the smooth, wet sides and push with all their might to move it. If there are enough children they can get it rolling pretty well, causing the water to roll and run too; a pleasant and enjoyable activity on a hot day. Well, yesterday, a bearded, backpacked, college student with a black-leather-silver-studded belt began vigorously pushing it, hand over hand. His whole body into it, wet up to his elbows, to impress the girl, hiding behind bangs who stood coquettishly behind him. The earth spun faster than I had ever seen it do, sloshing the water more than usual all over the surrounding children who laughed but tried desperately to stop it, their little hands sliding over the the rounded shining surface with what seemed like an abortive effort. But, more children, attracted by the fuss came around, my boys included and being more determined, began by some unspoken accord, working together to slow the mad spinning. The college student snorted a smile and took it as a challenge, giving the world a whirl again, the children responded quicker than before and slowed it down to a saner pace, grinning in triumph.
A small, random occurence in passing with no importance. But it seemed significant to me. I am reading a book (as those near and dear to me know) called Bradshaw: On the Family. This little episode tied in with what I am gleening from this book. The generations before us, bigger, older can sometimes send our world, as children, out of control. Who knows why- fun, anger, hurt, power...and the new generation is made to scramble and grapple with a slippery, insane world, putting all their efforts into survival, ending up wet and exhausted. But, in this there is hope, too. Our kids, some of the new generation, will be a part of the solution.
It brings to mind the song by Billy Joel "We didn't start the fire, it was always burning since the world was turning...". true- we didn't but, we will continue the bad traditions if we don't question and oppose them. I hope I do and can at least help my children desire to, and as long as some of us are not the cause of the problem, our effors can attempt some balance.We have one shot at this life and one world- how do we want to spend it and what do we want our children to inherit? I want to end up soaked, arms sore and smiling in triumph, making it all better for the people to come.
"And I think to myself...what a wonderful world..."