On my way home from this adventure, I stopped by the Surf City Coffeehouse for an emergency 24 ounces of caffeine. On my way in the door, a baby finch fell helplessly on the hot pavement from a nest hidden within the sign above, right at my feet.
Before meeting folks like Ben Wurst & Bill Clarke, I would have felt bad for the little bird, but would have had no idea what to do and would have mistakenly believed I was too busy to do anything anyway. And I probably would have believed the woman walking by who told me I shouldn’t touch it because the mother will reject it.
Instead, I picked up the bird, asked for a ladder, put it back, and got my coffee.
While we were putting the bird back, a man sitting on a bench asked what we were doing, and the nice guy from the coffee house who got the ladder said “We’re helping a bird get back in the nest.”
The man snorted, chuckled, sneered, and asked, “Why???!!??”
Before meeting folks like Ben Wurst & Bill Clarke, I’m not sure I knew the answer. I now know the very, very clear answer, but still wouldn’t have attempted to articulate it to the guy on the bench.
It’s easy to argue why we should care about our amazing Osprey, if only by pointing out that they are an indicator species, so if we ever poison the Bay real bad, they’ll die first and will give us a shot at not dying too.
But caring about some unfortunate “regular bird” nesting in a Surf City strip mall? That’s trickier.
All I can tell you is that if you’re lucky enough to spend enough time around people who care as deeply and give as generously as folks like Ben & Bill, you’ll eventually learn that caring about stuff enough to do something is not only the right thing to do; it’s the short path to happiness, and a good life in this world.