In the beginning, God made man in his own image, though decidedly substandard. God, almighty and all-powerful, had one crying flaw to his otherwise sterling character, he could not control the thinking of mankind. So he held mankind in contempt, and displayed that contempt in a myriad of ways, the most recent and most spiteful being the gift of a smartphone.

Equipped with a smartphone, man was no longer required to reason, or do math, or remember to call his mother. All he had to do was remember his password, which he was always changing and could never remember, and without his password he was dumb as a clam, and lonely as a bagpipe player in an elevator. All his friends and followers were locked inside his phone.

Then a strange thing happened. While locked out of his phone, man noticed a blue jay with an acorn in its beak, a thing he had not noticed before. When the jay flew to a sugar pine, he noticed a branch of that sugar pine was dead, and wondered why. So he went out to break off that branch and examine the hole, where he discovered a nest of bark beetles.

That sugar pine could not sap out the bark beetle, but why? He wondered if the drought had left the sugar pine short on sap, and wondered, too, what had caused the drought in the first place? Could it be global warming? Then what caused the global warming? Might it be our burning of fossil fuels? And what might be our fate if, in our greed, we continue to burn fossil fuels? Extinction? God would not allow us to slide into the seventh circle of hell, not our God. There might be other gods who would be happy to see that happen, but not our God.

Man is just now coming to realize that God has a problem with his lack of good judgement. Man’s avarice has canceled his commitment to his progeny, so he goes along carelessly polluting his grandkids’ atmosphere until their eyes begin to water, and their lungs begin to burn, while the manufacturers of those pollutants sail off in the comfort of their air conditioned yachts.

Could the possibility of our immolating ourselves like a moth in a flame be imminent? To my mind, in my private universe, the words “God” and “Mother Nature” are different words for the same thing, and just as sure as Mother Nature is taking care of us as best she can, we need, in turn, to look after her.

We can start by setting down our smartphones and nurturing the acorn that feeds the jay that sits in the sugar pine that saps the bark beetle that thrives in the drought that is derived from global warming that is the result of our setting fire to the atmosphere.

Mother Nature is trying to tell us to pull our heads out of our oil sands and stand up for the survival of our most precious and fragile planet Earth. The sands of our global hourglass are slip-sliding away. We can act today, or rue the day.

McAvoy Layne is a 30-year impressionist of Mark Twain who can be reached at GhostofTwain.com.

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