Monday, March 15, 2010

A Ripple Effect

McElligot's Pool (Classic Seuss)One of my favorite books is McElligot’s Pool, written in 1947 by Dr. Seuss. It may seem an unusual choice for someone who has spent as many years in school or read as many books as I have, but a favorite it is. The plot is a simple one. A boy, Marco, is fishing in a small pool where people have long been tossing junk, and he is mocked by a farmer for thinking he’ll catch anything more than a boot or a can. Marco retorts by describing how the pool might be a pond connecting to a brook and eventually to the sea, and by naming the vast variety of fish that might at that very moment be swimming toward him. The book is all about possibilities:  “Oh, the sea is so full of a number of fish. If a fellow is patient, he might get his wish.”

Starting a blog was a minor leap of faith, akin to deciding to fish in McElligot’s Pool. I didn’t know who might read my blog (if anyone) or what might become of the ideas I posted there. I found my groove after a few entries, began posting regularly in December, and my readers have been growing in number ever since. I have my usual followers (not all of whom are visible on the blog), but there have also been a few unusual blips in readership. A beekeepers’ blog picked me up the day I referenced Bees without Borders, and my blog is listed on a tourism website in Fiji as well as on a science study site (for my reference to “nectar guides.”)

Although only a few readers have left comments on the blog itself, a number of them have e-mailed me. Two have confessed Fiji Water guilt and have promised to drink what they have on hand and not to purchase any more.

I received the most e-mail about cast iron pans. Some recalled fond memories of meals their moms had cooked. Two people told me they have taken cast iron pans out of storage; two others have ordered new ones. A brother wondered how I “scored the skillet.”

One reader informed me she and her husband had purchased an EnergyStar washing machine at a Presidents’ Day sale and had used links in my post to obtain a rebate. I now have lots of recipes for parsnips and one offer of breadmaking lessons.  A few people reminisced about riding the train to Springfield.

Is my blog actually changing the world? Too early to say yet. Readers do seem to be taking to Meatless Monday (my first official one was today, split pea and roasted root vegetable soup for dinner!) and Earth Hour and are spreading the word. And they are sending topic suggestions by the score. If I can keep up the pace and get enough readers, who knows what my blog and I might do? It’s early and I have tons of posts up my sleeve.

On Sunday I went to a fundraiser for Cam Staples, currently a Connecticut state representative, and a person I have known since the early 1980s. Cam’s first elected office was as my alderman. Cam has recently taken his own leap of faith. Instead of running for re-election, he is running for Connecticut Attorney General. Incumbent Senator Chris Dodd’s decision not to run has had a ripple effect in my state. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is running for Dodd’s seat, leaving the CT Attorney General’s spot open. Cam, rather than playing it safe, and with only a small window of time, has decided to get out there, to become known throughout the state, and to win the nomination. Cam is diligent, honest, and true to his word. The issues he embraces are mine: the environment, transportation, health care, and education.

Cam is giving it his all. With enough support, he just might get the nomination. He just might become Attorney General. Tell any delegate you know that Cam is a good man for the job!

Back to Marco, the young fisherman in McElligot’s Pool. Marco first appeared in To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, published in 1937, after being rejected 27 times! Dr. Seuss had faith in his possibilities. Just imagine. If he had given up, not only would we not know Marco, we also would not have The Cat in the Hat!

Here’s to all the “mights” and possibilities waiting out there for us all. Just remember to look before you leap. I know my life is much richer with Marco as my guide.

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