Hurt but still alive and able to fly
How I'd like the beach at Cheung Sha to look
when I next visit that part of Lantau...
While walking in Victoria Park a couple of months back, I came across a pigeon sporting what initially looked to be red plumage but which, after I looked more closely, turned out to have something akin to plastic bullets lodged into its body. Upon realizing this, waves of anger coursed through my veins as it quickly and easily occured to me that some callous, cruel individual had most probably targeted and shot this helpless creature for fun.
Mixed with this rage was a sense of despair at humanity because it seems like people really seem so very prone to treat nature so terribly. In addition, I was so very sure -- and thus felt pretty saddened at the thought -- that death would come very shortly befall to that particular wounded bird.
So count me pleasantly surprised as well as actually shocked to come across that pigeon again on another stroll through Victoria Park a few days ago. And this particularly since it not only is still alive but seemingly pretty well and mobile, and even able to fly about despite having those foreign objects still pretty firmly embedded in its body!
I try to take comfort from this pigeon and other examples of nature's resilience when reading the news today that several beaches in Hong Kong have been polluted by palm oil spilt into the water after an accident in Mainland Chinese waters caused one cargo vessel to sink and leak thousands of tons of that semi-solid liquid. Put another way: I try to trust in nature being able to combat -- or at least survive -- the destructive ways and acts of human beings.
At the same time, I also appreciate that there are some humans who actually care about our planet, not least because they realize that it's the only home we've got. And yes, among other things, efforts have already begun to clean those polluted beaches.
I just wish having to deal with pollution, including that which originates from our powerful -- and, to judge from their actions, uncaring in so many ways -- Mainland Chinese neighbor wasn't such a regular occurrence here in the Big Lychee. (Remember the tide of marine refuse that washed ashore from across the border last summer? And throw in the reports last week of rubbish, complete with items whose labels had simplified Chinese writing on them, having washed up on two Tuen Mun beaches.)
A thought: the Mainland Chinese authorities surely would be less reviled over on this side of the Mainland China-Hong Kong border if they would more promptly alert their neighbors to impending disasters rather than delay sending out notification of last week's collision in their waters for a couple of days or -- and no, we have not forgotten -- delay announcing (and even, for a time, try to cover up) the outbreak of SARS at what turned out to be the expense of hundreds of lost lives.