Environmental issues should concern everyone

Published 12:08 pm Thursday, June 20, 2002

By By Lindsey Sherrill, Columnist
"I think that I shall never see/a thing so lovely as a pea-" Okay, so maybe the poem doesn't go quite like that, but that's what got stuck in my head one day last week. I wasn't quite sure if I could share my tale with you all, but hey, if people can have out of body experiences in the grocery store, than why not me and those peas?
Let me explain. It was late Friday night, I was tired, and I was shelling black eyed peas. Now, something strange always happens to me when I've had a long day. My tiredness comes in levels. I start out by being just a little sleepy, knowing I need to go to bed. Next, I reach this stage where I am so sleepy I can barely keep my eyes open. If I, for some reason, make it past that point, I come to my favorite stage. At this stage, everything becomes kind of surreal and my creativity reaches a fascinating level. That's another story for another time…
But I digress. At this point, I'd been awake and running for about 18 hours. There was a big wash pan of peas just waiting for me on the kitchen counter when I walked into the room. Those peas were calling me… Okay, maybe not, but remember that I had reached the mental stage where anything could have been happening.
This was the point where things got scary. While I was standing there at the counter shelling peas, my mind started to wander. I was contemplating the beauty of those hulls. I mean, have you ever actually looked at a pea hull? They are the most awesome shade of fuchsia with little green speckles. I wish they made fabric like that. My next profundity was an observation on the similarities between each individual pea. Whoever came up with the saying "as alike as two peas in a pod" anyway? Have you ever looked at two peas in a pod? They are not alike.
I really don't know why, but something about those humble legumes just got me. I started thinking about how incredible each of those individual peas was. So alike, yet so different. Each tiny shell holds all the potential to grow into a complete plant. Kind of like people. I started thinking about the universe and how often we overlook the tiny wonders, whether they be something as beautiful as an individual fingerprint or as humble as a single pea.
All right, I guess that's basically my story, now that I've convinced you all that I'm stark, raving mad. A famous author once wrote "Any man who can find beauty in an oyster is a poet-Sometimes the ugly ones are the most delicious." If that's so, then could it not also apply to peas? Maybe I'm not mad, but just a poet.
Or maybe I just need more sleep…
Lindsey Sherrill is a columnist for The Advance. She can be reached via email at lindsey_sherrill@hotmail.com.

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