This picture of wild turkeys was taken last year at Myakka River State Park. There was a time at Myakka when wild turkeys were nearly extinct. They were aggressively hunted in Myakka Park and a part of me can understand why. The meat of these turkeys would not be anything like the Butterball that some of you cooked last week for Thanksgiving. But I feel certain it was satisfying never the less. And wild turkeys have beautiful feathers that no doubt pulled down a nice chunk of change in the early decades of the 20th century when women’s hats were elaborately adorned with feathers. Living here in North Carolina, where poverty is a very real thing, I find myself thinking about all of this in a different way. It takes me back to my very early days in New England when I recall many classmates who were malnourished and poorly clothed, but once we moved to the gleaming Gulf coast of Florida it seemed poverty went into my rearview mirror. I suppose that was the goal. Still, these “pockets” of poverty are with us and extend to our urban areas as well. Any one who has watched the news in recent days has probably heard about the battle for a higher minimum wage. The current requirement of $7.25 an hour is a pittance and can barely sustain a single individual much less a family. If you want a concise essay on that battle I suggest the article by Richard Trumka and Christine Owens on CNN.
We’ve managed to protect the turkeys in Myakka and they are flourishing. Can we find a way to help our fellow human beings? ❧