Tuesday night we discovered our pond was "turning over". It is caused by the heat of summer and the overgrowth of red algae. In the ocean it is called red tide. As we battled to aerate the pond until midnight gathering the big catfish and blue gill that were struggling to breath near the edge and to stressed flee, tossing them into the metal tank, I was reminded of this story.
“While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. there were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, "It makes a difference for this one." I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.”I thought of this story as we circled the pond over and over for 2 days trying to rescue a few. Tears flowed as we took dead fish to the dump. Yet, those we caught and tossed in the other tank seem to have survived. We didn't save all of them, but we did save some. Last night we fed them and saw a few of the catfish left feeding a bit. It helped make me feel better. I felt so helpless trying to save them. I did find it neat one of the big cats we fished out early in the battle only had one eye, the other one had been damaged I guess, it was just a scar.
Kids tried to save some minnows by tossing them in the metal tank. Lets just say the huge over gentle blue gill was very welcoming to the minnows. They didn't last long! I know that we lost a lot of minnows, but I think we still have a LOT of minnows still in the pond. We lost very few of the blue gill, so we should still have them. We lost a LOT of catfish, but will be thankful for those we saved. Not sure how many we have in the metal tank now, more than need to be there I'm sure. I hope as they start feeding again we can dip net them and return them to the pond.
We did learn from this. One thing we learned is that when this red algae starts to do it's thing to add alum to the water to change the pH. The red algae makes the waters pH way off way high. Alum brings the pH down. Alum is aluminum sulfate. We put about 5 lbs of it in the pond Tue. night. Even after that we lost fish, or they floated to the top. It was very sad to me, and they were just something enjoyable, not our finical provision, or food source.
After we had done all we could and it was just a matter of time on the pond I thought of something else. Is it really different taking in these children that are washed up on the tide of misfortune, unwanted, un loved, uncared for. We can't save every child and if you allow yourself to look at all the children around the world that need saving it is overwhelming. Yet, when we reach out, we make a difference for one. Isn't that what it is all about. (Maybe save isn't even the right word, but give a kid a better chance. From there it is then the kids choice if they swim or sink back into what they came from.) I have just been musing on this as I think of the starfish story and the fish. I really think just maybe each of my kids is a starfish. I know that we have impacted each of them in good ways, even Sarah who isn't walking the way we want. We sowed seeds, and it is God's problem to get them watered. I don't know what the future holds for any of them. I pray that what we have sowed into them will help them swim. That they will each go forth into adult hood stronger and more able than if we hadn't been giving the opportunity to be apart of their life.
It has been a draining stressful week. I don't function well with lack of sleep. We were up until midnight on Tue, then up and outside again trying to keep saving fish by 6 AM Wed. morning. I helped until I had to leave to go get bug boy. :) Drove 4 hours round trip to get him. Having a new kid of any age is much like having a new baby. Every one's position changes. New one is trying to find the boundaries. That is stressful as you have to stay alert and sit those boundaries. Much like a new mom goes to bed trying to figure out what to do to be ready for the next day, being the new mom of an almost 11 yo is no different. It is exhausting! Life is never dull and always an adventure. I am highly blessed. Sometimes it is hard and very challenging, but I know that I'm a better person for the walk I have walked. Prayers are always appreciated as this walk is always made easier with prayers.