[cue dramatic music]
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away……no, wait. That one’s taken.
[cue something else]
In the time before time, there were three civilizations separated by a great ocean. One civilization was make up of tree-dwelling people, another of cave-dwellers, and the third civilization lived in a great city.
In each of those civilizations there were dreamers who wondered if they were the only people who existed, or if maybe there might just be more people like them living somewhere across the ocean. Never did they dream that there might be people NOT like them,or, if there were, that they would ever meet and be able to adapt to each other’s cultures. But it was nice to think about…
One day a tree-dwelling princess who was known for her dreamy ways, took some leaves from her tree, wrote a message in her language on one of them, asking, “Is anyone out there?”. She then fashioned a boat out of the remaining leaves, placed the message inside, and set the boat adrift at the ocean’s edge.
Meanwhile, another princess from the city was thinking about the same great question, “Is anyone out there?” She would walk to the ocean’s edge and search the coastline. She would gaze toward the horizon. But she never saw anything except the empty water. So she went back to her city home, wrote out the same message, placed it inside a bottle, which was a container for holding liquids that someone in her city had created, and took it back to the ocean’s edge. She placed it into the water, wondering what would happen. Amazingly enough, it floated away.
You can guess what the cave-dwelling princess did.
She stayed in her cave, hiding. She was afraid of the ocean, and although she wondered the same question as the other two, she never really asked it.
One day the city princess walked down to the water’s edge. She expected to find what she always found: nothing. But, this was a special day, for when she looked at the waves breaking on the shoreline, she saw a small green package bobbing on the waves. She waded into the water and picked up the tree princess’ leaf boat. Looking inside, she found the message: “Is anyone out there?” Her heart raced, for she could read and understand this message even though she did not recognize the material it was written on, as there were no trees in the city. She rushed back to her home, scribble the answer on a piece of paper (another nifty thing that someone in the city had invented), placed it in another bottle, rushed back to the water and dropped it in. Her answer was (you guessed it): YES!
Across the water, the tree princess was at the water’s edge dreaming her dreamy dreams, when she saw a very strange thing: it was the first bottle the city princess had sent into the great ocean. Since she had never seen a bottle before, she was perplexed by it. She picked it out of the water, rolled it between her hands, feeling its smooth surface. She peered inside the bottle and was again surprised to find: paper. She turned the bottle upside down and shook it vigorously until the paper fell out of the bottle and landed at her feet. She gingerly picked it up, unrolled it, and saw HER message, written by someone else: “Is anyone out there?” She went back to her tree, wrote the answer on another leaf, built another boat, took it back to the ocean and set it adrift. Her answer: “Hell YES!”
As the world turned and the seasons changed, the currents of the ocean became apparent to these two amazing women, and they began to correspond across the waters, teaching each other about their tree and city ways.
Meanwhile, back in the cave…..things were getting very boring, as cave life is known to be for anyone who has actually lived in a cave. The cave princess’ fear of the ocean eventually outweighed her boring cave life. She summoned up her tiny bit of courage and set out for the water’s edge. As she walked on the shore, she constantly looked down at her feet, making sure she didn’t step on any dangerous sea creatures that might have washed up. There were no sea creatures; but there was a BOTTLE. What on the ocean was this thing? She picked it up and, like the tree princess before her, examined it and discovered a message inside. She was shocked to see that she could read the words. However, she had intercepted a message from city princess to tree princess. She could indeed read the words, but she did not understand the message. She took the bottle back to her cave, picked up a soft rock that left black marks on the paper when she rubbed it across the surface, and wrote a message of her own. It said, “HUH????” She put the message back into the bottle, went back to the shore, put the bottle back in the ocean, and waited.
Eventually she received two messages, one arriving in a bottle and the other arriving in a leaf boat. They both read: “Who the heck are YOU?”
So she entered the conversation across the water.
And THAT was how pollution was invented….no, wait.
[cue dramatic music again]
And THAT was how Pocahontas, CoCo Chanel, and I wound up in a hot tub in the mountains and not eating the traveling chicken because it was the WRONG chicken.