“I don’t know what it is about fecundity that so appalls. I suppose it is the teeming evidence that birth and growth, which we value, are ubiquitous and blind, that life itself is so astonishingly cheap, that nature is as careless as it is bountiful, and that with extravagance goes a crushing waste that will one day include our own cheap lives.”
not in the lucky, risky way, but in the sense that some experiences send you flying in the air flipping from one emotion to the next until you land heads or tails without any real control over the outcome.
It all started yesterday as I escaped responsibilities for a coffee night. . .enter the fuzzy bunnies.
They were crouched beneath a hated basswood tree in our front boulevard acting suspicious. I am not fond of any bunnies at the moment considering all the lush foliage about, but they prefer my prized crocuses to whack off bud less. Anyway, I began to charge after them like a wild banshee screaming and waving my arms. They didn’t run as fast as most bunnies, defiant little beasts! But then I came to where they had been seated and behold a pile of wriggling blind-hairless baby bunny rodents fresh from the womb. My heart stopped, instant awe. How amazing new life is, no matter from whom it comes. Then I felt terrible remorse at scaring away the only chance at life those little bunnies had. So I sat in the car waiting to see if the parents would return. Nope. They ran like the wind. Another bunny from somewhere else bounced over for a peek and then left. There I sat, torn between longing to protect those fragile, helpless little beings and despising them for the destruction they will reek on my plants. So I drove away for coffee.
I knew what had happened the moment I saw the puff of fluff strewn beneath the basswood. It wasn’t until later when I came home with the kids was it confirmed in the most horror of horror show ways. Severed baby bunnies ripped in two laying on the grass. Both the freshness of their life and the violence of their deaths left me in tears. I’m still shook up.
Its hard to understand how nature can be so breathtaking and so savage. It brings me back to a chapter on fecundity that Annie Dillard words so well in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek: