The kids are all right – there is a lot we can learn from animals
Part of the fun of living at the edge of existence where the sea meets the sky, is that even when you are sheltering in place, unexpected things do happen and you never quite know what is going to be coming over the horizon next.
Last week it was a blue-fronted redstart bird — phoenicurus frontalis for the ornithologists — native to China and the Himalayas that I encountered sitting on a branch on Barry Road, St George’s.
While some might be tempted to say that I don’t know what I’m talking about and that it was “just a bluebird”, I assure you it wasn’t.
Standing a mere three feet from its perch, the blue was much too indigo, and the red was too orange, which is what prompted me to properly identify it. Today it was a trio of free-spirited goats who had escaped from the Bronco Stables, having apparently received the word that the grass was greener and tastier down the lane.
Out for my morning walk I encountered my friend and stable owner Crystal Woolridge attempting to corral the little rascals, and it was heartening to watch them prancing and frocking about, completely oblivious to all the current troubles in the world. And this reminded me of something that the author and motivational coach Rob White once said: “Worry is a human construct that is created in language, not from the soul.”
And I would also suggest that worry is not a concept that exists in the animal kingdom.
You can argue that animals have good days; that they experience, fear and sickness and even grief — but not worry. When the sun rises, animals arise and do what they need to do and when the sun sets, they sleep.
When there is famine or drought, they suffer, but they do not give up — they take it on the chin, and they get on with things as best they can.
Sometimes the rain comes quickly, and they frolic with high-spirited relief.
Sometimes the rain does not come at all forcing them to either wait patiently for better days, or move on to greener pastures. In either case, they accept. They do not regret, lament, or feel sorry for themselves — they endure.
There is a lot that we can learn by observing animals. Perhaps, when this pandemic passes, we will finally begin to treat them better.
Perhaps then, we will realise that our survival is as dependent on their survival, as theirs is on ours. Perhaps we may also begin to understand what it is they can teach us about living in the moment and thriving in a natural world.
So, now that we can once again venture out to the parks and beaches, why not seek out a quiet place to stand on the earth and observe our island with new eyes and see what you learn?
• Robin Trimingham is an author and thought leader in the field of retirement who specialises in helping corporate groups and individuals understand and prepare for a new life beyond work. Contact her at www.olderhoodgroup.com, 538-8937 or email@example.com
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