Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The gift of the Hunter

Much sorrow at the news of the passing of Steve Irwin, the "Crocodile Hunter." And rightfully so, for a lot of reasons: He was an ardent conservationist and a man with a deep appreciation of nature, even when (or maybe especially if) it was red in tooth and claw. He was also entertaining as hell.

It is sad news and I am grieved for his wife and children and for all the family and friends he leaves behind.

However, it is not a tragedy. While he died in the fullness of his time and power I think we all suspected he was destined to find his ending in the midst of some great adventure. He might have even known this himself; to his credit, this did not stop him from having those adventures, just the same. We are not all granted long form in our storytelling here.

Until the very moment he died he was doing that which he loved and enjoying it to the fullest. He made the world a better place by being here, even if he couldn't stay as long as he might have liked. He improved the planet and cheered the human race and those are great things for anyone to do.

Once again he teaches the greater lesson: Nothing is promised to us and it is truly, truly the present, in every pronunciation. "Every day should be unwrapped like a precious gift."

The NYTimes obituary referred to him as a "larrikin;" the Australian word for those larger than life characters, irreverent, cheerful, and not at all observant of the dinky social proprieties. His very human characterstics and foibles made him an archetype, which means that he will never really die, especially anywhere glasses are raised high and adventurers are remembered fondly.

I suspect Jim Fowler and Jack Hanna feel especially bereft.

Godspeed, Steve. May you find your path in what must be the wildest kingdom of them all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is far better to meet your fate doing something you love as opposed to wasting away in some god-forsaken nursing home.

Best to his family and friends.

southern paleocon

3:50 PM  

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