Humans do not orchestrate every important thing that happens.

There is a lake very near Butte Montana. It is one of the largest lakes in the United States. Forty billion gallons of what can very nearly not be called water anymore.

This lake is very special. Called the Pit by the residents of Butte, the water is red and it’s surface shimmers like liquid mercury.

It was made of human ignorance and self-importance, a vision of power before wisdom. The people that made this place are like many of us. Toddlers who are smart enough to open the bottle of drain cleaner but inexperienced about what will happen when we drink it.

This lake was once the top of a great mountain pushed into existence by the steady dance of shifting plates beneath the surface of the Earth. This mountain was somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 million years olde when it began to be bled for copper. It was in the 1920’s as electricity was on it’s way into every United States home and a World War was underway that copper was in it’s greatest need and this single mountain provided for 1/3 of the countries need.

When the copper boom faded and prices dropped, mining companies decided to decrease labor costs by exploding the top off of of this mountain (a foolish practice still happening through out Appalachia for the purposes of coal mining). The great hole left where once peak-met sky was filled with workers and equipment for several years until again the industry plummeted and the operation was abandoned. Up until that point great pumps kept ground water from collecting in this wound. But after the mining company left, the pumps were shut down. This happened on Earth day in1982.

Then came, at first, a little iridescent reddish puddle. Slowly but steadily the water rose, toxic and lifeless, until this great lake, was formed. The lake still rises to this day. It was in the mid 1990’s that the reality of this lakes true danger was burned into the minds of the people nearest to it.

It was a particularly harsh season when 342 migrating snow geese, exhausted and thirsty, lighted atop the lake and began to drink. In the morning all 342 floated lifeless on the surface. Autopsies reveled that the acid had eaten them up from the inside. No goose that landed left that place alive.

No one went near the pit that could avoid it. Occasionally a scientist might venture near to study this catastrophic manifestation of human stupidity. It was one such scientist who first noticed a most miraculous thing. On a stray twig fallen into the lake was growing a strange slime. Nothing before had ever been witnessed to grow or even survive exposure to this place.

Studies began to focus on these organisms. Each one was an anomaly, that they would even grow, but one in particular stood out among the rest. It was strange yeast, sticky, opaque, appearing thick and black. When this organism was observed in highly polluted water, such as the lake was composed of, a most extraordinary thing was witnessed.

People have been observing and introducing organisms to water for their filtering purposes for a very long time. The best of these previously known water cleaning organisms removed between 10 and 15 percent of toxins. This magical and mysterious black slime however removed between 85 and 95% of what it was that had transformed ground water to acid.

When scientists set out to find other examples of this yeast in the world, it was an unusually long road. When their research was concluded they determined that this yeast had been found in only one place besides The Pit….

that place was in rectal swabs of geese.

342 geese died on a cold night longing for their thirst to be quenched. What they left behind was much more than shame across the faces of locals whose living had been forged in the creation of their killer. What they left behind was the only organism ever found who might someday transform the pain of that place into a blessing for other such weary travelers.

Humans do not orchestrate every important thing that happens.

About iknowyouknowmyheart

Ever Tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better -Beckett Here I am right over there, running into opportunities to stop running and hoping they keep my scent until my prayers are answered and I am brave enough to slow down.

Posted on June 20, 2012, in divine intervention, Everyday Miracles, Geese, love, true stories. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on iknowyouknowmyheart and commented:

    Stories are not disposable. Stories are the living, breathing middle of all things. They should not be thrown away. So along with new writing and updates there will be reposting of tales from these years of blogging.


  2. I weep a tear of sadness for our arrogance and a tear of joy and awe for life continuing to live, despite us. It’s a large amazing world, but many people seem to have tunnel vision. I weep a third tear for those who don’t see it.


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