To Be a Star Thrower

acrylic on canvas

Adapted version of The Star Thrower by Loren Eisely

An old man had a habit of early morning walks on the beach. One day, after a storm, he saw a human figure in the distance moving like a dancer. As he came closer he saw that it was a young woman and she was not dancing but was reaching down to the sand, picking up a starfish and very gently throwing them into the ocean.

“Young lady,” he asked, “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”

“The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die.”

“But young lady, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it? You cannot possibly make a difference.”

The young woman listened politely, paused and then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves, saying, “It made a difference for that one.”

_________________________________________________________________

Every day, I try to make a positive difference; by offering a silly gesture to conjure a smile from my five-year-old son, by tossing an empty soda can into the recycle bin, by letting compassion rule out over anger, by telling my story — pouring out words born of heartbreak, empathy, passion, hope.

Sometimes the irresponsibility of others makes me question whether it is worth my time and effort to even try. Conditions aren’t always calm, shorelines aren’t always smooth. One must press on through dark and blustery environs, along sharp and fractured paths. It’s challenging to be a Star Thrower and perseverance is essential — because, be it in small ways or a big ways, Star Throwers make a difference.

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2 Comments

  1. I absolutely LOVE this, and I agree with you. It isn’t always easy. Most of the time, it isn’t. But that doesn’t make it less important or less valuable. It is a good thing to have the compassion to make a difference, to conjure a smile where there was none. And you do just that, quite often. Thank you for this beautiful story.

    Reply
  2. simplyblake

     /  March 20, 2013

    Bouquets of thanks, Ali. You make me smile. 🙂 xo

    Reply

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