Saturday, June 26, 2010

Insect Respect

I love butterflies. I always have since I was a kid…hence my Twitter username (@BufferflyBrie). Of course, when I was little, they were taken in as more of a “Oooh, look how pretty!” instead of seriously considering the beauty of nature. Now that I’m 21, God’s creations mean more to me than I ever thought they possibly could. I’m not going to say that I adore all of the insects of the world…I could definitely do without spiders and centipedes…but in the last couple of years, I’ve grown to view the meaning of insects in a whole new light. I’m about to share a story with you of something that happened to me today. Depending on the level of emotion you possess, this may strike you as a little sad/bittersweet. Just a word of caution.

This afternoon I drove my mom to our local greenhouse so she could take a look around at the plants. Mom has a newfound love for hanging plants. While she looked around, I noticed something wriggling near the ground. As I looked closer, I could make out the shape of a fly caught in a web. Now insects in webs have always upset me. Whether this stems from a general hate of spiders or purely the agonizing pain which the insect is being putting through, I don’t know. So I took my foot and lightly pushed him out of the web. He was grateful for this, and thanked me by flying up my skirt. This did not impress me, so after doing an uncomfortable shaky dance for a minute, he flew away, much to my happiness. Then I saw a butterfly. I could feel a smile come over my face as I watched her happily land on flowers and fly beautifully past me. I followed her outside and continued to watch her for a minute.

Then as my mom talked to the store’s owner, I felt something land on my shoulder. A bit frightened, I took a peek and saw an insect’s head staring at me. I panicked and smacked it, causing it to fall to the ground. When I got up the courage to look at what it was…there was a dying dragonfly. Its wings were trying to move as it lay on its back. As tears filled my eyes, my mom came over and saw it. She tried to gently put it on its stomach to give it strength. As she did this, you could see it start to regain a bit of energy, much to my relief. However, it still did not look like it could ever recover to a normalcy of flying. The owner came over and brought it outside to put on a plant. Whether it survived this, I don’t know. And I don’t think I would want to know. But I don’t think I will ever forget doing that. My heart hurt for it as we exited the store, but I felt a sense of lightness when the butterfly from before came and circled around me, almost to let me know that everything was okay. To me, it was a sign from God that He wasn’t upset with me. After all, it was an accident.

To see that dragonfly wriggling in pain that I myself caused was one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced in the entire world. I hate causing pain in people; I’ve damaged someone’s feelings before and I made a vow to myself to never do it again. Thankfully, I’ve kept my promise thus far. I hate causing pain in animals; I’ve stepped on my dog’s paw before accidentally and listened to her cry. The hurt you cause in others is absolutely painstaking. This pain that I feel inside of me whenever I cause the pain in others, is something that I never thought would affect me this badly when it happened to insects. But I’ve grown and realized the importance of preserving nature.

We have all stepped on insects, whether on purpose or by mistake, but we rarely sit and think about what we’re doing. Some of you may not believe in God, which is fine…I will not judge you. So please don’t judge me and accept that I’m a God-fearing individual who believes that He put everything on this planet for a particular reason. Whichever reason that is, I can’t say that I know. But there is a purpose to everything.

The purpose of this blog post is to beg you all to stop and smell the roses…literally. Nature is to be cherished, not destroyed. You all must know that I’m not a “going green” type of person. There are many things I should be doing to help the environment, which I don’t. However, I do what I can right now, which includes turning off lights to preserve electricity, recycling, and when I can, saving insects. I had a discussion recently with some Twitter friends about insects and how I try to save as many as I can, including ants. Have you ever watched the determination of an ant before? They are hard little workers and have much to do in life.

I want to share an anonymously-written poem that was sent by a friend of mine, Shirley (@irishgirl127). She is recovering from back surgery at this time, so please say an extra prayer for her. Shirley, this poem is for you.

"The Oak Tree"
A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the oak tree's leaves away.
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark.
But still the oak tree held its ground while other trees fell all around...
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing, Oak?"
The oak tree said, "I know that you can break each branch of mine in two, carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs, and make me sway.
But I have roots stretched in the earth, growing stronger since my birth.
You'll never touch them, for you see,
They are the deepest part of me.
Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure.
But now I've found, with thanks to you
I'm stronger than I ever knew.
Especially now, try to remember that you're stronger than any problem you encounter.”

There are too many awful things going on in this world to not care. The oil spills, the natural disasters, continued wars and killings. While many of these cannot be prevented, we need to take action to save our insects. Whether or not you want to believe it, they help this world to be as beautiful as it is today. So please…if you happen to find an insect on its back in need of a hand, please turn it over. They are grateful for our assistance. They need our help to survive this world.

Your friend,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

WDW 2010 Trip Day 5

Friday, May 28:

Our day to go home. Boo. I realized I hadn’t yet bought my pin for the year, so I went downstairs to the Fantasia shop and bought a Test Track one. I also got my very first Vinylmation!! He’s adorable! I got a plain pink one and bought stickers to go with him. I put kooky eyes on him, a Mickey ice cream bar on his tummy, wings on his back, fireworks in his ears, and flowers on the back of his head. He’s awesome. Oh and I wore a very appropriate shirt for the kind of day it was – Alice in Wonderland that said “It Was All a Dream.” Makes me feel bittersweet just to type that. We had a bumpy flight but thank God, we arrived home safely. And I’m still mad to be back home, by the way. But I thank God we were able to go.

I love you, Uncle Walt. Thank you for making all of my dreams come true.

WDW 2010 Trip Day 4

Thursday, May 27:

This was our last full day the Magic Kingdom. I honestly cannot remember everything about this day or in what order we did things in. So I will just randomly talk about moments of the day, starting with the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway. This was my first ever time on it! I absolutely loved it. My dad and I went on – he let me drive – the CM looked at him as we climbed in and said, ‘You look nervous.’ Dad said, ‘Nah, I’m not nervous.’ So I looked at the CM and replied, ‘Well, he should be!’ The CM cracked up and off I flew (once I asked the poor man about a zillion questions about the vehicle). It was great fun; I lost control of the direction a couple times and I caught Dad clutching the side of the automobile. HA! When the ride ended, the same CM said to Dad, ‘Wow, you were ready to get out of the car fast. You look scared.’ I laughed and said, ‘I think I frightened him!’ He said, ‘Yeah, I can see that!’ LOL!

We also saw the Carousel of Progress. Love that! I got emotional a couple times watching it, wishing that Uncle Walt had seen this dream come alive. Of course, I sang along to the catchy tune. A really cool part of the day was when we were getting FastPasses for Peter Pan, and another piece of paper popped out. I didn’t even see it; another guest actually had the decency to say, ‘Oh, maam? You missed something?’ and handed it to me. It was a Surprise FP for Mickey’s Philharmagic! I was ecstatic!! Both attractions were phenomenal, of course. Philharmagic was incredible. No matter how old you are, it’s beautiful. And you still find yourself reaching for objects that you know are not there, but seem so real anyhow. My favorite scenes are with Ariel and Aladdin – so gorgeous! And Peter Pan is always lovely (I always have to holler ‘HI NANA!’ when we pass her doghouse).

We had lunch for the first time at Columbia Harbor House. I was quite impressed with the place – will definitely return there. One of the CM’s is from Wappingers, a town about a half hour away from me! We sat with a lady and her grandson, who she said was autistic. I’m gonna go off-topic for a second: she was a nice and good-hearted lady and all, but she treated this 16 year-old boy like he was four. I HATE that. He could obviously speak for himself, feed himself, etc. And yet she’s wiping his mouth with a napkin and such. I’m one of those who believes that those stricken with autism are smarter than those who aren’t; they just can’t express themselves the way those without autism can. If you have a close friend or relative over 14 (give or take a year) with autism…watch over them, but please don’t treat them like a child. Sorry folks, but I had to get that out there.

Time for the Haunted Mansion! We didn’t get stuck that time. Next was Pirates, then the Jungle Cruise, followed by the Wedway. I talked to a sweet CM for a long time in the Art of Disney store about Imagineers and he told me a lot of things I didn’t know. He had the privilege to meet some of the head Imagineers as well.

Anyway, we had a scrumptious dinner at Tony’s; rode Small World, then watched SpectroMagic. Returned to our room & watched Wishes from the balcony. Mom got me a precious Minnie Mouse keychain and a Cinderella coach antennae topper. I found the first “Kingdom Keepers” book (huzzah!) and purchased it at the Art of the Disney store. Back at our resort, in the BVG store, I bought an adorable white Mickey, Minnie & Pluto purse that I absolutely love, as well as a cute yellow v-neck blouse w/ an image of Mickey & Minnie having lunch on what appears to be Main Street USA. ‘Twas a lovely day. But I really didn't wanna go home the next day.