I tend not to use this blog as a political forum (for very obvious reasons). I generally don’t post on current events either. But.
Today I had to explain to the two boys what happened out in the Gulf in April. I was looking at a series of photos of the disaster as the boys walked up to me. Pickles settled himself on my lap and Ginger leaned against the desk. We flipped through photos of oil-drenched pelicans, people in boots and blue gloves with shovels and buckets, fires at sea. I talked about the explosion; Ginger wanted to know why they couldn’t stop the leak. He couldn’t comprehend something being 5,000 feet under the water. We looked at a map of the spill. I pointed out where we live. I pointed out the location of Grandma’s condo. I pointed out the location of my family beach house on Indian Pass – built around 1900. I pointed out Apalachicola, where my parents came from, where my one remaining grandparent lives now. [CNN just ran a story on the oystermen of Apalachicola. God only knows if they’ll work the bars again in their lifetimes.]
We looked longest at the pictures of seabirds covered in oil. I explained that people caught them and cleaned them up, releasing them somewhere far away from the oil. The boys seemed to think that now that the five or so birds had been taken care of, there was no problem. My heart broke.
I moved quite a bit as a child, but Apalach and the beach house were always there. When I was little we used to spend up to two months straight at the beach house, coming into “town” for mass on Sunday. Because of the fact that we’ve never lived close to Florida, my children have not had the opportunity to know the beach like my brothers and sisters and I did. What will be the fate of the beaches? The estuaries? The shrimpers and oystermen my parents grew up with? Their children? I remember accidentally stepping in tar balls when I was very little, sometime after the previous Gulf oil spill in 1979. That was such a little thing compared to the current situation.
I haven’t ranted and raved about the horrors south of us. The hurt goes too deep.