She of the sea mines the land for stories, too
I'M TIRED of the ocean. I don't want to go sailing, am sick of being salty and prefer trail walking over beachcombing. Right now, the best I can do marine-wise is hike up the ridge behind my house and gaze at the sea.
Since I spent much of the last two years sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, diving and beach strolling from here to Australia, I guess I overdosed on Oceania. Right now, I'm appreciating dry land and the stories I hear from it.
Former Hawaii resident and longtime reader Shirley White e-mailed me a good land story. When UPS recently delivered a big box to her house from Dell, she called her kids, nieces, nephews and sisters. No one knew anything about it.
Concluding it was a mistake, Shirley contacted Dell's Web site. An automatic response said they'd get to her in a few days. But this was likely a special Christmas gift, and Shirley persisted. Eventually she talked to a person with a foreign accent who said, yes, the delivery was a mistake. Dell would pick it up because it was supposed to go somewhere in Texas.
Shirley is in Texas. Finally, she got the name of the sender, her neighbor's daughter, whom she called. The computer (which had arrived early), was indeed a special gift -- to Shirley. It's a thank-you for helping her neighbor move to an assisted-living facility. "The world," Shirley writes, "is full of wondrous things."
HERE'S ANOTHER wondrous thing: The last orphaned wedge-tailed shearwater, named Katie, at Black Point has fledged. Of the 31 chicks people rescued and fed after their burrows were broken, 26 (84 percent) grew up and flew away.
Such remarkable success is the result of the combined efforts of dozens of volunteers, most strangers to each other, who teamed up to feed the chicks twice a day for more than two months.
I'm thrilled I was part of this community effort, and not just because I got to hold and feed baby seabirds (although that was wonderful).
In this depressing era of war, prejudice and destruction of the planet, the wedgie project reminds me that many people do care and that together we can make a difference.
The band U2 thinks so, too. Two weeks ago my sweet husband cured my cold with five little words: "I got tickets to U2." I was off that couch in a second, healed and searching for my red Bono shirt.
I've always liked U2's music, but there's more to these men than rock 'n' roll. The band uses its fame and fortune to urge people to work together toward easing poverty and promoting tolerance. At the concert, U2's enormous parting message on the stage was "COEXIST" spelled with the Muslim crescent for "C," the Star of David for "X" and the Christian cross for "T."
And these guys remember where their money and influence come from. "Thank you for giving us such a great life," said lead singer Bono at the end of the concert. "We owe it all to you."
I feel the same way about you readers. Writing about the marine world is a great job, and I thank you for sticking with me, even when I stray.
I promise I'll write about the ocean again soon.