. . . I've been told that I write novels for email messages. Perhaps this is the way to go. I'll try to make each entry, or Gemstone, a "precious" one. On mediocre days, all I might be able to produce is a "semi-precious" entry. In any case, an entry might be a "neat" Gemstone--something that is uniquely mine.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"The Star Thrower" by Loren Eiseley

I awoke early, as I often did, just before sunrise to walk by the
ocean's edge and greet the new day. As I moved through the misty
dawn, I focused on a faint, far away motion. I saw a youth, bending
and reaching and flailing arms, dancing on the beach, no doubt in
celebration of the perfect day soon to begin.
As I approached, I sadly realized that the youth 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 youth the
purpose of the effort. "The tide has washed the starfish onto the
beach and they cannot return to the sea by themselves," the youth
replied. "When the sun rises, they will die, unless I throw them back
to the sea."
As the youth 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 youth'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 youth 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. I returned to the beach and spent the rest of the day helping
the boy throw starfish in to the sea.

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