de·vel·op [dih-vel-uhp] verb (used with object)

1. to bring out the capabilities or possibilities of; bring to a more advanced or effective state

We made a new friend at the pond this morning. Bob comes almost every day and slips an inflatable camo one-man chair raft into the water, and goes fishing. I’ve seen him before. I usually get there before he does, and leave when he arrives, for the benefit of his solitude as well as my own. But Travis was with me this morning, and he’d chatted with Bob before, so we stuck around for a talk. He told us about the morning recently where he saw three great blue herons gang up on a golden eagle, the three big wading birds flying and chasing the eagle until it left the scene. “Glad I had my friend with me,” he said. “No one would’ve believed me,” he laughed. Probably not, we agreed, especially if they hadn’t been here before.

“They’re gonna develop it, you know,” he said with a slight shake of his head. “It’s going commercial.” And we nodded our heads, because we know that this is an accident, a place like this still left inside the city limits. It’s not a surprise that the fields and the elderly oak tree and the wildflowers will be turned into an office park, so people can spend more time in cubicles, penned in and breathing recycled air, because that’s what’s considered a “more advanced or effective state.”

In fact, the ponds have been my office for the last ten days, the toads my assistants, the frogs my receptionists, and the beavers my consultants. But  no money was made here during my time as office manager. Ponds that vibrate with life are of no economic use to anyone, and therefore have no value. Herons are not job creators. And I know this, because it’s a very common story.

But I quibble with using the word “develop.”


5 thoughts on “Pond Chronicles: Developed

  1. A tragedy, indeed. And how much does your remark about things that have made no money; things that are of no economic use to anyone and therefore have no value resonate with me? The things most beautiful and important to the soul generally don’t have great economic return, and yet how bereft are we without them? Apparently the world is desperate to find out . . .

  2. A tragedy perhaps, and yet a staggeringly common one. So common I can’t be surprised. Interestingly, the economic downturn is probably as responsible as anything for the pond’s continued existence. No one building, no one buying, no one paving.

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