Anxiety weighs down the heart,
but a kind word cheers it up.
Today I “chaperoned” a field trip to the aquarium for my old high school’s Marine Biology class. I used scare quotes there deliberately, because for juniors and seniors in high school, chaperoning was extremely nominal. Mom really just invited me as a free pass to the aquarium, and how could I pass that up?
Boy, I had forgotten how cool the aquarium was. Or more accurately, the aquarium has gotten way cooler since I went there last — it has to have been 15 years ago, at least. They have amazing, expanded touch tanks where you can touch sea urchins, sea anemones (say it with me: AN-EM-ON-NEE), sea cucumbers, sea stars of many varieties, and all sorts of other Pacific Northwest aquatic life. So many of the high school students had apparently never even touched a sea cucumber or anemone, and they were more tentative than the small children when it came to reaching in the tanks. Imagine going 18 years without ever having touched a sea anemone! As our pastor at church would say, “Your life is far short of what it could be.”
During lunch, the other teacher on the trip raised an interesting question: Why are tropical fish (and sea life in general) so much brighter-colored than fish around here? We hypothesized that maybe there’s more light in the tropics — clearer, shallower water and more hours of sun — so looks are more important than around here, where it’s dark and murky a lot of the time, making selecting a mate by sight might be less prevalent. That’s just an off-the-cuff hypothesis, though. For that matter, what about tropical birds compared to birds here in the northern hemisphere? Some things I can understand; poisonous creatures tend to have bright colors that work in their favor. Generally color is a method of attracting a mate; the brightest-colored guy gets the girl. But why would some animals in some areas evolve to be so much more dramatically colored than animals in other areas? Differences in predation? Light? Some other factor?
All I can say is that I know I’m attracted to bright guys.