Rushing through a busy railway station on a Thursday morning, trying to make it to a connecting train, head down to the ground, I pass a beetle, flat on its back, struggling to right itself. Hundreds of pairs of feet, just like mine rush past, not noticing, not caring. I rush past too.
How did it get here? This platform is up two flights of stairs. Yet there it is, in the least hospitable, barren desert it will ever see. What a horrible place to die. This sterile, featureless, inhospitable landscape is our created haven, to facilitate our given right to go anywhere we like, at ridiculous speeds that are inevitably always too slow and need improvement by bureaucratic money makers. And there’s this beetle. A fitting illustration of nature’s struggle, ignored by so many lucky, entitled passers-by.
Not me. Within a few yards, I knew I would suffer for years thinking about what I could have done. What I should have done. So I turn back. Getting angry stares and British tuts as I dare to go against the flow. She’s still there, though the fighting to get upright has ceased. A peaceful surrender. I scoop her up and take her with me. All of a sudden, there, the legs begin to kick once again. Hope, for her and for me. I carry her down to the platform and drop her into the grass behind, where no flat, shiny surfaces exist. Where she can use anything to right herself if needs be.
I may be many things. I may have made mistakes and this beetle may be one tiny grain of dust in the universe, but so am I. She is of more use to the planet than me and I know it. And she lives to fight another day.