Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dump Gulls

Birds are wonderful creatures - incredibly complex, amazingly diverse.

We are not near any ocean, but we frequently see flights of sea gulls.  I imagine that they come down from Lake Erie, about 70 miles to our north, but I'm not sure about that.

The seagulls are clearly designed for a water environment. They have webbed feet for swimming. They are amazing fliers who can go long distances with very little effort - perfect for crossing large expanses of water. I know from seeing them at the ocean (and on nature programs) that they are excellent fishermen and usually nest near the sea.

But not around here.

Here they hang out in the Wal-Mart parking lot like juvenile delinquents.  They perch on top of the parking lot lights and waddle around near the shopping cart corrals.  They don't hold up cardboard signs, but they are clearly looking for a handout.  Left over fries or a discarded sandwich will cause a seagull riot.

Often I see gulls flying high overhead in the early morning light. They fly resolutely in a southeasterly direction.  Are they migrating?  No.  They are headed toward the county land-fill.  Down on that artificial mountain you will find thousands of them sunning themselves on the cover, or swarming over the newly arrived trash to find discarded food scraps.

They have become dump-gulls. They have given up their life on the edges of the sea and their work as fishermen to become scavengers of human garbage.  I'm sure they are perfectly practical in this adaptation - the waste is plentiful and easier to come by than fish.  But it somehow seems to be a shame.

I think people do the same kind of thing.  Instead of using our bodies and minds as God intended we find shortcuts that are easier.  We feed our minds on drivel and spend hours in shallow entertainments.  We take the path of least effort - least resistance - most immediate gratification.  But it is a shame - no deep thinking - no higher goals - no difficult accomplishments.