How to Better Your Life by 9.83%

It’s been five days now, since the sun went on strike for better wages. We’ve been in darkness here, though incomplete, because the moon stepped in—sensing an opportunity—and is now happily working overtime to give us its faint silken light 24/7; it is saving up for a vacation to the Pleiades early next year, if all goes as planned. The beavers are staying busy at the pond down the road, they have to—what choice do they have—if they are to keep up with the mink, who always have the nicest clothes.

I remember back when the cosmos worked for free—a voluntary synergy—and all were content with what they had. But now everyone wants to make a quick buck, and get as much as they can—they all say it makes them feel good, about themselves, about life. Even in this darkness though, I can see it in their eyes, they all are so tired and a little more stressed than they once had been—back when they lived for life, and not for money. One would think it would be enough just to awaken in the morning and enjoy the bountiful gift of being alive, but not anymore. They want to be like people.

The trees need more money if we want to enjoy their shade. It is hard to keep up, you know, and even harder to get ahead. Money doesn’t grow on…trees, you know; and the best trees are all moving to the coast, or to the mountains—and they need a pool. That takes money. The cedars want to live by the river, as do the birches, and not everyone is lucky enough to have been born there; some of us have to work to get there. It’s a source of pride. And a source of sorrow. If only it were enough simply to be alive, and enjoy God’s gift of being.

But someone convinced the deer, that they need designer galoshes and a stylish raincoat, for the upcoming winter. I hear they’re selling skateboards for squirrels to cross the street safely; and backpacks for honeybees to pack their pollen into; and even tiny dollies, made for the ants, to help them carry their crumbs back to their burrows. It’s all for convenience and for a better life; and we’re all hoping it will make us happier. Someone recently tried to sell me a new phone, it would connect me to others 50% faster, and improve my life overall by 9.83%. This was a provable scientific fact; so who was I to argue, and how could I turn it down? Who wouldn’t want a 9.83% better life?

As I was hiking by the moonlight the other day, I overheard one bear talking to another, complaining how her cave was just no longer habitable, because it lacked the latest flooring and her walls were so neo-Paleolithic; it was embarrassing to have anyone over for a berry cocktail with outdated walls like that. She’d have to remodel. I could relate, and empathize with her plight. But does a bear need Enlightenment-era flooring, or Industrial-age wall finishes? Easy for me to say; maybe she does. And do I need Information-age technologies? These things take money! And time to earn it! Are we better off wanting and needing more and more? As I considered this I looked up into the moonlit sky, and suddenly a raven flew overhead, riding a drone. He winked and he smiled as he flew on by, perched proudly on top of his new machine. He seemed pleased with his new purchase. Who was I to judge? Still, I miss the time when the cosmos worked for free.

~FS

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