Considered the “flowers of the sea”, sea anemones are actually carnivorous. I wouldn’t mind being compared to a flower and I do love a good steak……
Sea anemones are related to corals and jellyfish. It would be great to have coral relatives; I’ve always wanted to visit the Great Barrier Reef……
Armed with stinging cells, sea anemones can launch mini-harpoons that inject venom. As a junior high teacher I can think of many useful applications for this particular adaptation…..
Many sea anemones have symbiotic relationships with one-cell algae. In return for a safety, the algae provide sea anemones with oxygen and glucose. Imagine having one’s own sweetened oxygen bar!
There are some down sides to being a sea anemone—for example its mouth and anus are the same structure (GROSS!)—but there are upsides as well. The sea anemone stabilizes itself by closing its mouth. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from that…..
The biggest reason for my desires to be a sea anemone is that sea anemones do not worry. That is, I am certain they don’t worry. I haven’t personally interviewed many sea anemones and there is very little actual research gauging their anxiety level but I am fairly confident in my contention. Sea anemones do not worry. Their nervous system is primitive; no specialized organs are present. No brain, no pain, right?
How would it be to just sit in warm waters, waiting for one’s food to arrive, without a care in the world? (Sounds like Cancun…..!) How nice it would be not to care. Care is killing me. If I did not care about improving myself I certainly would not be running a half marathon next Thursday. If I did not care about Chick, I would not worry about the fact that he is going on a mission and still leaves his clothes and shoes everywhere. If I did not care about demonstrating my love for my God through obedience, I would not worry about the fact that I hate genealogy. Oh to be without cares!!
It is care about pigs that is haunting me at the moment. Pigs! Why care about pigs?
We have pigs; three of them. Grace, Tanah, and Miles invested a great deal of their own money to purchase pigs this spring. They have continued to pour money into the pigs in the form of food. Theoretically, theirs was a wise investment because they will be able to sell the pigs at the county fair at significantly higher-than-market-value prices. However they are able to participate in the country fair only if the pigs make a certain minimum weight. If the pigs do not weigh at least 220 lbs. on August 5th, they are NOT allowed in the fair as market animals. Period.
Grace loves pigs. It was Grace’s love for and success with pigs that lured the other children into the business. Tanah and Miles invested money into their pigs. Grace invests her heart and soul. She taught herself about pigs, she teaches others about pigs, and she teaches her pig, walking it and practicing with it for over an hour almost daily. Grace is a true pig shepherd.
Grace’s pig is not gaining weight as it should and it is haunting me. It kills me to imagine the devastation she will feel if her pig doesn’t make weight. The tears. The heartache. The bitter disappointment. My absolute inability to make it better. Oh, my darling girl!
Knowing that I will be unable to do anything useful at that point, I am doing all that I can to help her pig gain weight now.
Trying to gain weight is a new experience for me……
The 4-H leader suggested feeding the pig chocolate cake mix and chocolate milk, both high in fat. Grace’s pig does not like chocolate. She and I scanned the junk food section, searching for high fat alternatives. Win-Co sandwich cookies have 6 g/fat per two cookie serving….SCORE! The pig does not like those either. She eats jelly doughnuts though….
Hot weather suppresses appetite so Chick installed a mist system to keep the pigs cool. The hose that supplies their fresh water sits in the sun so I drain it every afternoon to make sure their water is not only fresh but also cool. We are constantly offering them treats, coaxing them to eat. The pigs loves over –ripe apricots but apricot’s weight-adding ability is questionable.
Begging a pig to eat is something I never imagined I’d be doing. And why am I doing it? Because I care. If I did not care, I would not be begging, I would not be working, I would not be worrying. Care is killing me.
What to do? Can one care without being killed by it? Are love and worry inseparably connected? Is anxiety a mandatory companion to compassion? Does the desire to do something besides sit still and wait for food to arrive have to be accompanied by stress?
The answer to the first question is yes; the answers to the last three are no, no, and NO. There is a way to have love without worry, compassion without anxiety, and reaching without stress. As I thought about my care-for-Grace’s-pig-is-stressing-me-out dilemma, I decided that I just had to let it go. I could (and am) continuing to care about Grace and her pig and I should (and am) continuing to do everything I can to help that blasted animal gain weight but I had to (and mostly have) let go of the worry. In the end, what will happen, will happen and I will deal with it as it comes. If, indeed, her pig does not make weight, it will not be the end of the world, hers or mine. She’ll lose a lot of money and we’ll both shed some tears but she is young and tough, I am old and tough, and both of us will survive.
We might even learn something. In fact, I have already learned something.
There is an element of trust in letting go. I let go trusting God that it will all work out. I don’t know that it will all work out the way I want it to. Crap happens (and, for sea anemones, it happens in the mouth) and that is a fact. No, instead I trust that it will all work out well….for me…..eventually.
“All things work together for good to them that love God.” (Romans 8:28)