I’ve been thinking about toes lately (not in a fetishy sort of way). I normally overlook my sweet little toes except when I have a problem with one of them or I need to clip renegade nails. Those little guys and gals at the end of my feet typically don’t play a role in my day to day musings.
Here’s a pitch for a horror movie. (Just in time for Halloween)
One morning everyone all over the world wakes up to find all their toes fell off during the night. (Don’t ask how it happened I haven’t worked it out yet) Detached toes lie in clumps at the bottom of our beds.
Suddenly the able-bodied human bi-peds who always took for granted their mobility, cannot walk, cannot stand. See without our toes we’re toast. We can’t walk or even stand up on our own. In an ironic twist, many people with physical disabilities will suddenly be more able bodied than those of us who have strolled freely.
Those little guys and gals at the end of our feet play a critical role in most of our lives. The power of the toes.
So then I got thinking about other little guys and gals in our midst, the young people in the world.
The English mystery novelist PD James steered away from her usual genre when she wrote The Children of Men, a science fiction story in which James created a world where 20 years prior, humans lose the ability to reproduce. As the novel opens, the youngest people in the world are 20 years old. Playgrounds and schools lie in decay and humanity suffers hopelessness and anarchy.
Reminds me of some churches and Quaker meeting houses. Okay, not so dire, but how lifeless a meeting for worship feels when no children and teens attend. These little guys and gals give life to the meeting, even when they meet in another room nearby doing their own activities.
As a gay single man without children, like a dried up tortoise, I could creep into meeting for worship and hole myself up in a corner. Then I could get all grumpy when a child interrupts the sacred silence of our gathering. And then I could feel bitterness and self-pity because I don’t have children of my own in my life to shush or rock or adore.
Somehow I don’t feel these things. Somehow I smile and feel warm inside when I see those little guys and gals wriggling all around me.