TALES OF NATURE GIRL

Life Lessons from the Physical World

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Earth is Your Mother

Here is a mystery: someone is driving down the road ahead of you, any sort of person, driving any kind of car, and out the window goes a cigarette butt, a napkin, a plastic wrapper. Can someone tell me why people do that? What's that about?

Maybe it's because they don't understand a very basic concept.

Once I was standing outside a chain drug store. There was a giant trash can beside the door. A young man walked out the door with some candy and he started taking off the wrapper. I watched him toss it to the ground. I simply said, "Why did you do that?" He shrugged. "The Earth is your Mother," I said, realizing I sounded like a big weirdo. I don't really know what got into me; I usually watch quietly and mutter to myself, or just think my thoughts about the trouble I see. I don't speak those thoughts. But that day I did, and the kid looked at me.

"What did you just say?"

"The Earth is your Mother," I repeated, convinced he was going to knock me upside the head, and my little dog too.

He reached around and pulled off his backpack, with a huge grin on his baby-boy face. I felt myself get flushed and worried.

"Could you say that again for the camera?" He yanked a handheld video camera out of the pack and removed the lens cap. "Huh?" was all I could muster. Miss Smarty Pants.

"Would you just repeat that, that thing you said about the mother or whatever?"

I had a bunch of concerns about that: Was he going to play me for his litterbug-buddies and laugh at my tree-hugging nonsense while they crushed cans of beer and tossed them into the street? Was I going to end up in some music video as the mean old neighborhood spinster wagging my finger at happy-go-lucky skateboarder-hipsters? Was he planning to photoshop me into some online porn?

That last seemed pretty unlikely and I ultimately decided I didn't care anyway. After all, this was a teaching moment. "Look," I said, "I'd be happy to say it again if you promise to put your wrapper into the trash can." He considered for a moment, like it was an expensive price to pay for a few seconds of video hilarity, but then he bent over, picked up the wrapper and tossed it into the trash can. No big deal.

Exactly. So I waited for him to aim the camera, stood firmly with my hands on my hips, and said it again. "The Earth is your Mother." I felt vaguely silly but it was kind of fun.

"Cool." Then he put the camera in the pack, swung the pack onto his back, and walked off.

4 Comments:

Blogger Fuzzie said...

Great job!
I'd buy the video.

11:31 PM, July 28, 2005  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

yes, if anyone ever sees that video be sure and let me know how I look!

8:49 AM, July 29, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE YOU!!!

8:57 PM, February 05, 2006  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

well, thanks!

7:39 AM, February 06, 2006  

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