There is a poem here somewhere, but I cannot find the words to bring it out of hiding. Instead I just have an idea, an ugly idea that will not stop pestering me and as I cannot make it beautifully, I will just pass it on in its current unrefined form, anything to get it out of my head.
There is just something about the idea of a squirrel and missing meals, opportunity, hard work, investment, the future, the present, the hope, and the reality that have jumbled into one big storm. The base of the idea is just a nice bushy tailed gray squirrel foraging for acorns during the summer. They cannot eat all the ones they find though, for one their stomach is too small to digest it and they would get too fat anyway if they could, so they bury some of them. These buried stores come in handy when winter approaches and food becomes less abundant, but not so much when winter has arrived as then there is too much snow and the ground is too hard to dig into. But sometimes, the squirrels forget where they buried their nuts and so they leave them there and eventually, some of them may even grow into saplings and eventually new trees bearing even more acorns for future generations of squirrels.
Ignoring the detail about the squirrel’s planting of these seeds being mostly unintentional, there is just something so inspiring about the idea choosing to miss some meals to ensure that future generations will have more to eat. It takes a strong work ethic to work for your own future, let alone the future of others, and especially of others that will be around only long after you are gone. There is a lot of hope in working for the future.
But then there is the reality and the present. Sometimes you are hungry now and it does not mean a damn thing to you that somebody else some time later will be able to eat because you are starving yourself to death. There are plenty of cases in history where farmers have been left with no crops to plant in the spring because a poor harvest or harsh winter forced them to eat all of their seeds to survive. Sometimes you cannot afford even miss meals today for a better meal for yourself tomorrow, let alone for some future strangers. Regardless that reality is not always the reality. Indeed, many of us today are plenty well fed to the point of obesity, and I mean that in many more ways than one.
While on this thought I feel as though I should mention climate change and pollution. There are legitimate reasons for skepticism about global warming and the real effect of carbon emissions versus natural shifts in climate, but there are still plenty of other very obvious problems with how we treat the environment that we could be improving on, but we choose not to. But anyway, we all already know this.
On one side we get something along the lines of:
“Sometimes a squirrel will forget about a nut he buried and miss a meal. The result will be a new tree, a new source of food for future generations. We can work hard and skip a few meals of our own but in doing so help to secure a better future for the world.”
On the other we get:
“I’m so damn hungry.”