Catch and Release

July 13, 2018

This week we’ve been inspired by Byron Bay First National Marketing Manager, Lauren King, and her fondness for Steve. Steve is a lizard. He frequently visits the back deck of the Byron Bay First National Office and slowly, an unlikely love story ensued. Steve and Lauren have become fond of one another, to the point where Steve climbs on to her lap and is hand fed. It’s not for me (lizards – eww) but there is no denying that it’s special.

Steve visited the office last week and he was not looking at all like himself. After accidentally ingesting some rat bait laid out in one of the other places he visits. He was very unwell. Lauren, along with the help of some wildlife volunteers, has nursed Steve back to recovery and set him free once again.

The real love story here could also be between Lauren and Lauren’s Mum who, in spite of a massive reptile phobia, allowed Lauren to tuck Steve up into bed in the spare bedroom of the family home over the weekend, during the course of his confinement.

Lauren and Steve remind us of the immortal words of 20th Century philosopher, Sting, who said, ‘If you love someone, set them free,”. And while we have had a bit of fun with their unlikely fondness, there is a deeper theme to deconstruct and it applies to how we care for animals, for our children and for each other. That is to love without ownership.

To love without ownership is the highest form of love. (At this point, I need to apologise for Lauren…we’re not referring directly to you and Steve anymore.)

In our earliest relationships, we use possessive words. It makes sense, grammatically, and socially, we construct our early identities through a composite of the things around us. “My Mum.” “My brother.” “My friend.” ”My School.” “My Street.” It makes sense, but it is a bit self-centred.

At some point though, through the painful process of adolescence, we work out that the world is not a complete reference based on what belongs to us, but rather where we belong. I wonder how different the world would be if there was a more selfless approach to our relationships with others.  

Steve belongs on the back deck, coming and going from the wild at his own will. Rat bait doesn’t belong in the wild – please be careful.

4 Responses to “Catch and Release”

  • Russell Anderson says:

    Good story, To many man made poisons out there in human hands.

  • Tanya Fothergill Mundy says:

    Hats off the the author. Bravo. So apt too as a letterbox drop around ewingsdale is coming to all residents compliments of yours truly, warning of the dangers of baiting and poison. In the last week I have had a few native marsupials turn up dead at my poolside, seeking the water that sets off the baits, and there they die, There are so many other harmless ways. Spread the word.

    • byronbayfn says:

      Thank you Tanya. We hate baiting and poison too. People just don’t realise the impact and suffering it causes to the native wildlife, it’s very sad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *