Starfish

July 18,2010

I woke up pretty early just before sunrise to walk by the beach’s edge while there still isn’t too many people around. As I moved through the misty dawn, I focused on a faint, far away motion. I saw a little boy, bending and reaching and flailing arms, dancing on the beach,I just thought he was happy to be there.(not really sure if I was tripping or thinking.)

As I approached, I sadly realized that the boy was not dancing to the bay, but rather bending to sift through the debris left by the night’s tide, stopping now and then to pick up a starfish and then standing, to heave it back into the sea. I asked the boy what was the point of picking them up and throwing them back “The tide has washed the starfish onto the beach and they cannot return to the sea by themselves,” the boy then said “When the sun rises, they will die, unless I throw them back to the sea.” As the little boy explained, I surveyed the vast expanse of beach, stretching in both directions beyond my sight. Starfish littered the shore in numbers beyond calculation. The hopelessness of the boy’s plan became clear to me and I countered, “But there are more starfish on this beach than you can ever save before the sun is up. Surely you cannot expect to make a difference.” The boy paused briefly to consider my words, bent to pick up a starfish and threw it as far as possible. Turning to me he simply said, “I made a difference to that one.” I left the boy and went home, deep in thought of what the boy had said But I couldn’t stop thinking of the things that little boy said so I returned to the beach and spent the rest of the morning helping the boy throw starfish in to the sea. The boy couldn’t have been more than 6 but it was as if he was as wise a man beyond his years.

Makes you wonder how sometimes you tend to overlook things people because you have too many things on your plate.

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