A Water Rescue - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2252594

A Water Rescue

Outside, Thursday’s mid-spring weather was inviting, beckoning the weary to put aside their pain and worries and revisit the healing powers of nature.

My wife, Claire, and I had just mailed a letter at the friendly little East Quogue Post Office and decided to continue down Bay Avenue to the waiting bay. The views, as expected, were refreshing and awe-inspiring.

We needed this lift — recovery, if you will — after viewing discouraging news media accounts that underscored the frightening international surge in political extremism.

In short, we were seeking relief from frustrating things we had little or no control over and intently pursuing the free, simple pleasures provided by Mother Nature to better deal with life’s obstacles.

While standing on the dock bulkhead, I looked down and noticed a tiny, colorful object floating about 4 feet below me. Claire and I determined that it was a butterfly that somehow tumbled into this precarious state.

Having been a Boy Scout, and presently in a youthful state of mind, I decided to rescue this struggling fella. I looked for a big stick to accomplish the task but couldn’t find one. It came to me to throw some nearby tide-flotsam debris in its vicinity as a sort of life preserver, but that didn’t work, either.

Claire and I wanted to save this God-made specimen, but how?

Claire thought to offer a walking cane that we kept in the car. We needed a length of about 4 feet to reach the butterfly. We tried with the cane, but we needed 3 more inches. Claire then suggested I hold the cane by the attached hand-string. Good try, but we were still a tantalizing inch shy.

With time and tide receding, I once again got on my knees, attempting to extend the cane down to the critter, when a kind voice from nearby inquired and offered assistance. It was Randy Flynn, a friendly local volunteer fireman, who had just driven up to check on the tide.

He quickly appraised the situation and offered help. I was embarrassed to relay our intentions — to save a butterfly, of all things! — but thanked him for his concern for our safety.

Witnessing our trying quest, Randy volunteered, got into a fully prone position, and succeeded in extending the handy cane to our exasperated friend, who gratefully attached to the tip. Randy gently lifted the cane, with shivering guest aboard, and gave the cane back to me.

Mission accomplished!

This afternoon, three people got together to save a special butterfly and, in so doing, became reacquainted with the great mystical powers of nature, kindness and giving — special available powers that reside deep within us all.

Mike and Claire Piliero

East Quogue