The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Sep 9, 2022 | The Sandpiper

My 11th grade literature class changed my life. I had a fascinating and enthusiastic teacher who brought life and meaning to the Romantic Era literature we read, amongst which was “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, by Samuel Coleridge. If you are unfamiliar with the tale, it is well worth the read. It is the story of a mariner who kills an albatross for no reason and brings the ghastliest curse upon his ship and men. The lesson that he learned and was compelled to preach was: “He prayeth best, who loveth best all things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all.” The stirring reality of the seriousness of this made me realize that there is no insignificant life. 

I bring this up to share with you 3 stories of rescue. The first is a little baby gosling that was found running around a busy road with seemingly no mamma around. It was picked up by Jody Banaszak’s sister, spent a little time with Jody and came to me. Now, I love everything and am just certain that all nature can live in harmony together but i realize that just isn’t true and wildlife does not belong living in our environment. It was a real struggle to not snuggle this little thing up. I left it alone as much as I could, with a mirror to catch its own image. I could keep it and raise a Canada Goose without a problem. I read the book ‘Rechenka “and would have loved a real-life story like that, but, both Jody and I knew it had to be released, for its own benefit. However, I wanted a guarantee that there was going to be a happy ending. Sweetbriar told me that geese are better parents that humans are. We went out on the lake by Brookwood Hall in a row boat on a cold day with the little gosling, looking for an adoptive family to hopefully release it to. We stalked a family with 5 goslings a little smaller that our guy. I put him in the water and watched him swim away. He went right to them. We watched the mamma bring some of the goslings up on land. When 2 of them couldn’t get up (ours was one), the father called the mother back down and they went to find another landing area. Everyone looked on land and sea as if all were fine. 

A smaller rescue happened the on the evening of Primary Day. I got a text from the guy who cut my lawn that he got a baby bird and was leaving it on my porch when I got home that night, I found a youngish fledgling Robin in a box. I brought it in, wrapped it up because it was shivering and locked it where my cats couldn’t get it. Knowing my limitations with wildlife and my temptation to want to keep everything, I delivered it the next morning to the Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown. 

Why am I telling you all this? To remind you that it is so easy to make a difference. It may mean going a little out of your way. It may mean costing you in the way of a donation to a nature center or rehabilitation center, like Sweetbriar or Star Foundation. Maybe you will decide to volunteer at an organization and include your kids or grandkids. How wonderful would that be. 

It is a privilege to live life on purpose. 

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