It was Father’s Day, a few years back…my wife, Terri, was down in Texas and I had the day with my two kids. Friends invited us out to a little gem of an island in the bay for a picnic and it was, in all, a grand day.
At one point I went for a brief walkabout around the islet and saw this rock jutting out of the water in the draining tide. It was just far enough out that I couldn’t quite see what was on the top of the rock, but my curiosity – always easily aroused – was sufficiently engaged to walk out into the water, which about waist deep by the time I got close enough to see the cluster of starfish.
It being Father’s Day, and all, and it being a year in which there were many family challenges for us, I immediately anthropomorphically identified with the little group of starfish.
They looked/felt so much like our family was feeling like to me in those years. We were beset by Big Time danger and predation, and there was, at that time, little end in sight. There was no place for us to run or hide so we were just doing our best in the face of a relentless and implacable adversary.
We felt vulnerable, exposed and imperiled…and this congregation of starfish perfectly represented the way we were feeling back then.
But, let it also be noted that these Asteroidea were (again through an anthropomorphic filter) huddled together…as though they consciously found comfort in each other’s company and presence. I don’t know if starfish even have brains, but the romantic/artist in me had them convened very much as a family, more secure because they had each other, no matter the odds.
Typically and characteristically me? Yep.
In any event, the tide came back in and I am sure they continued on their quiet journeys along the floor of the bay, grazing and surviving.
And, in time, our tide changed. The Adversary, diminished and diverted, lost power. Almost imperceptibly we were back in safer waters…and while there were casualties, we are more than surviving.