A sign of the times
A couple months ago I came across a fawn attempting to cross the bridge over Yellowstone River. Because there was a truck in front of me I didn’t see it until I was almost on top of it.
It was clearly panicked. Terrified. Lost.
I slowed my 100,000 pounds of truck and rock and moved to the left as far as I could without scaring the oncoming traffic and watched it in my mirror to be sure I didn’t hit it. I saw it scramble and leap at the barrier as if to jump over it, neither knowing nor caring that the fast moving Yellowstone river lay some 80 feet below. I watched it’s leap fail and breathed a sigh of relief and then lost sight as another truck blasted past it.
When I got to the other side of the bridge I pulled over, got out of the truck, and moved quickly to where it was.
Was. It was no longer there.
I scanned the quick, muddy water and the shore line for signs of it as traffic whipped past me. Watched for movement on the far end of the bridge and in the trees and grass below and beyond, but I didn’t see it anywhere. I don’t know what happened to it. I’d like to think that it ran back off the bridge but it’s more likely that it managed to jump the barrier.
I’m not sure that either option altered its odds of survival.
As I walked back to the truck all I could think is that this fawn, just months old, was left to fend for itself because it’s mother was gone. Either the victim of the heavy traffic or poaching. I thought of how the natural state would be for several does to be protected by a buck that would guide and protect them. I thought about how the entire scheme of nature, played out for millions of years, had been corrupted to the point that this beautiful young deer was left on its own. Alone on a bridge.
Then I thought about all the human children being corralled in county jails along our southern border. Jails that are little more than drunk tanks. Left there for months at a time because their parents had been removed from their lives for one reason or another. Perhaps they died trying to get away from impossible situations to make a better life for their families. Perhaps they were killed for simply dreaming of a better life.
It struck me that the plans of nature and of the Divine, that we live in families and that those families live within the protective sphere of communities, had also corrupted and so completely collapsed that these children are now dying on their own from such avoidable causes as dehydration while packed 100 at a time in cells designed for 20 while under the “care” of a government that is failing in its promises. Failing humanity.
What panic, what terror, what absolute fear, do these children feel?
Why do we allow it?
The fawn was something within my sphere of influence. Something I could confront and take on single handed. But it’s just a sign. A sign that we are failing in our promise to be caretakers of this planet and of every living thing on it.
I can’t save every motherless dear. I am not in a position to take on the US government to change inhumane laws. I can’t change the environments that create the mass exodus of people wanting nothing more than a better life. Or to raise the lowering of standards to the point where “a better life” means the ability to feed our families or have a roof over our head.
I cry and scream in tearful outrage about these children all across the planet being treated not with the utmost respect and care they deserve but as a nuisance. They are our future and we are teaching them that they have less value than the cost of saving their life; a bottle of water.
There are so many things I can’t do that I am often overwhelmed and discouraged and end up doing nothing. Children locked up like criminals. Eight year old’s having to legally represent themselves in a foreign court. Motherless fawn. Dying. Alone.
It is far too much for any one person to handle. But I am not alone. I am part of a growing community of people and groups that are redefining community, shattering the old norms. In this community are millions of people. Billions.
There is hope. There is always hope.
We are the hope.
Image by JMGreff.