by Kari Diane Pike
Life is funny. Take this morning, for example. I got up before 5:00a.m., showered, did my hair, and trotted on down to Phoenix Baptist Hospital to meet a client scheduled for an induction at 6:00a.m. When I arrived, I discovered the induction had been postponed because all the labor and delivery beds were full. Sure enough, when I actually looked at my cell phone, I found the message my client sent me at 4:00a.m. No Problem! Now I had time to water the yard, fix breakfast, clean the pool, and read my e-mail before I had to chauffeur kids to their summer activities.
I clicked the link to this blog and enjoyed browsing through the posts, all the time wondering what bits of joy and wisdom today's post would bring. I wandered around a bit, checking up on those of you who are linked to ANWA Founder and Friends. After about 45 minutes, it hit me. I'm the one supposed to write the post today! Good Morning! Okay, I feel rather silly, but that's all the more reason for me to share this story today. (I guess joy and wisdom will have to wait for another day!)
In my former life (you know the one…B.C….Before Children) I studied zoology. Now that I’m raising the two-legged variety, I delight in rediscovering nature as we explore forest floors, desert washes and, our favorite place of all, coastal tidal pools.
On one of our San Diego jaunts, we decided to explore. We found a fun bit of beach with large boulders and cliffs that looked promising. It was a weekend, so there were a fair number of people already enjoying a day of fun and sun. Remnants of a recent storm, large waves crashed against the rocks, sprayed unsuspecting tourists. The uneven surface created a haven for all the amazing little tidal creatures we sought that day. A large split in the cliff revealed hundreds if not thousands of crabs clinging and scrambling in and out of the cracks and crevices. Smaller pools held shellfish and sea urchins. Even the tiniest puddles harbored barnacles and other miniature crustaceans.
Imagine my delight when I discovered a rather deep pool, teaming with life. I called the kids over to share in my discovery. We found more crabs, and urchins, shellfish, and even fish. Several varieties of fish, some quite sizable, swam in the pool while one or two floated belly up their eyes glazed over in death. I told the kids that the storm must have been rather severe. The waves probably washed the fish onto the rocks and left them stranded.
A college student standing next to me expressed concern that the rest of the fish would soon die if someone didn’t do something to set them free. He was right, of course. The pool was too small for the number and size of the fish stranded there. I asked if anyone had a cup or net or anything we could use to scoop up the fish and toss them back into the ocean. The college student handed me his paper cup and yelled,“Save the fish!” I knelt down and frantically chased the fish around with the paper cup until I succeeded to catch one of the larger ones. I jumped up, ran to the edge of the cliff, and threw the fish out towards the open sea, while the college student once again yelled, “Save the fish!” Encouraged by the cheering going on, I hurried back to the pool to continue the rescue effort.
A little old Asian gentleman now stood next to the pool with an odd look on his face. He looked at the cup in my hand and I looked at the fishing rod in his. We both looked at the fish in the pool. I gulped down the sick feeling churning up from deep inside me. The little man said something I couldn’t understand, but the look on his face confirmed what I feared. “Yours?” I asked, pointing at the pool. He nodded his head and held up the wriggling fish on the end of his line. My face burned with embarrassment as I turned to look for the college student to back me up on this innocent mistake. He stood off a little way with a bunch of his buddies, pointing and laughing at the joke they had played. It was a set up. My kids were long gone, of course. I bowed respectfully, and apologized as I backed away, then bolted to my car. Oops.
What has been an embarrassing moment for you?