Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Mystery of Fate

There are many mysteries that are rooted in plain old destiny--in the way things are. One of these is the mystery of extinction. I read yesterday that a rare aquatic mammal in China called the Yangtze Dolphin is now extinct, basically driven into non-existence by pollution, cruel fishing practices, and human apathy. TIME's article by Peter Ritter suggests that the dolphin was rare, nicknamed "the goddess of the Yangtze," and considered "auspicious" by fishermen. So here is the mystery: if the fishermen valued this creature, who didn't value it enough? Will extinction increase due to environmental concerns? Will the human race become extinct?

Okay, those are pretty deep mysteries, so here's a lighter one: the mystery of birth days. I have a theory of birthday clusters: that somehow we are drawn to groups of people who repeat patterns of birth anniversaries. For example, today is my father's birthday, but August also marks birthdays for my mother, my brother, my son, my godson, my grandfather, my father-in-law, and several of my friends. October and December have similar clusters. My husband tells me this is mere coincidence, and it may well be--or perhaps are we drawn to people who make their imprint on the world at a certain time, in certain months? Do any of you have birthday clusters in your lives?

And happy birthday to my father, who is 76 today.


Karen Olson said...

Happy birthday to your father! It is also my birthday, so it's a good day!

And as far as birthday clusters, October in my family is like Christmas, with a birthday each week, some weeks with multiple birthdays. And then I married a man whose birthday is in October, adding to the celebrations.

Julia Buckley said...

Isn't that interesting! And Happy Birthday to you, Karen! How will you celebrate?

Karen Olson said...

We're heading to the pool club! After a week of horrible sticky hot weather and one day of 55 degrees and raining, the day is beautiful, bright blue skies and 70-degree temperatures.

Julia Buckley said...

Sounds refreshing! We're still waiting for that break in the heat. Yuck.