Kimmy Sophia Brown

Size Is Important After All

Jan 13, 2008

Looking at a tree outside my window I saw a tiny sparrow perched on a branch. I wondered what it would be like if there were little bird-sized cats crawling around the branches the way that squirrels do. What havoc that would eke! Eek!

Come to think of it, what would life be like if things didn’t grow to their accustomed size any more? Imagine going into the living room and seeing a spider the size of a sofa cushion on your ceiling. One would need more than a rolled up newspaper to deal with that baby. Or there you are on a lovely summer day pushing the mower across your green lawn; the evocative fragrance of cut grass all around you, billowy clouds above in the innocent, summer-blue sky. Then you step over a hole and a swarm of bees the size of bluejays come roaring out and carry you into the next county after boring holes in you the size of tennis balls. Ouch.

Science fiction has long been the bastion of gigantic insects or dinosaurs gone wrong. But imagine if there was no rhyme or reason for the size of animals or vegetables in every day life. If things grew with random abandon, what would that do to our sense of security? We’d have to be constantly vigilant like the caveman of yore. Walking out of our homes to get the newspaper or the mail would no longer be casual. What if there was a squirrel the size of a Volkswagen in your yard, nibbling on your oak tree? If mosquitos were the size of seagulls - oy! How about slapping one that just gassed up on your forehead?

Proportion is something we take for granted. Take Sunday dinners all over the world. Think of depressed children throughout the world confined to the table until they finish their vegetables; for example, tiny tots gagging on green peas the size of apples.

Even though there seem to be constants on the earth, what about the question of time and space? Sometimes we dream the Lilliputian dream, sometimes we dream we are Gulliver, sometimes we can fly on the back of an eagle or take a submarine through a corpuscle.

But thankfully life is not random and the blueprint of every vegetable and animal are as consistent as the sun rising and the seasons changing. Actually, the seasons and the sunsets and the tides all contribute to making life on earth secure. It’s nice to believe in Darwin, but I wouldn’t want to wake up with webbed feet. Here’s to constants in the universe. Thank you, God for the dimensions programmed into our DNA.

Kim lives in Maine, which is lovely, and where she continues her enthusiastic relationship with Art, Music, Nature, Books, Animals, Humor and Trees.