Beggars would ride

Yesterday sucked … there is no polite way to put that. It just did.

It was one of those days where almost everything you touch turns to shit and one bad moment seems to follow another.

But, as with every day (good or bad) … they all come to an end and sleep allows us the chance to rejuvenate our spirit and tackle whatever the next day has in store for us.

I decided I wasn’t going to let the day end without at least a sustained effort to put a good moment into it and so I grabbed the camera and headed off to Lake Parker to watch the sun go down.

This is my favorite shot from the sun’s final moments. Hope you enjoy

I spent just less than an hour there. Parked my car at one end and then walked slowly along the road’s edge, avoiding all the would-be formula-one drivers as they raced home from work. Thankfully they all missed me but I did wonder at times if the bastards were actually aiming for me!

It was a beautiful stroll. The temperature was near perfect and the golden glow cast by the setting sun caught the wings of birds overhead as they flew off to roost somewhere for the night. It was exactly what I needed.

Then this moment happened. A moment that took me from elation to dismay within a split second.

There was a lovely Great Blue Heron perched on a wooden roof of a boat dock watching the sun set. I got an initial couple of shots of him and walked briskly to get into the position where I could put him between the setting sun and me but mere seconds before I got into position, he flew away. I cursed the gods.

I couldn’t believe it. It could have been one of my shots of the year. At least that’s what I told myself as I spat rage and venom into the golden skies.

I was so disappointed and left wishing he could have just stayed in place for a mere ten seconds more to give me my shot.

As my rage subsided, I reminded myself that my wishes are not how life decides to play out. Most of us don’t get our wishes.

Nor should we!

A big part of our life is driven by needs, wants, and wishes. And even Maslow’s hierarchy of needs barely extended to the realm of wishes.

So why do we wish? And why do we get disappointed when a wish fails to materialize? Surely the logician in us understands that a wish falls into the “highly unlikely” category of events.

So my mind meandered down a strange path and tried to figure out our responses to unanswered wishes.

And it dawned on me that we establish early on the whole “wish-expectation” within our children far beyond their immediate needs and even many of their wants. We tell them to blow out candles on their birthday cake and make a wish. We tell them to wish upon a falling star or throw a coin into a wishing well.

We plant within their psyche some glimmer of hope within each wish that almost always ends in disappointment. So, why do we do this?

And long after our childhood has expired and we realize the harsh truth of life’s delivery of needs versus wants, many of us still close our eyes at night wishing for something or someone that might happen when tomorrow’s new day ushers in.

Advertising and marketing very much replies on the wish-belief system and so is there any surprise that we continue the myth within our own minds. It is why there are so many lottery players and gamblers out there.

But surely when it comes to the simplicity of our normal life, we should be able to take back control of our lives to where we establish our needs, hope for our wants, and throw wishes out the window.

It may sound callous but if we can do that and just completely disregard the whole wish aspect, then we will never be disappointed by their failure to be granted. And if perchance a happening as remote as an answered wish does enter our lives, we can treat it with a wonderful sense of delight as an unexpected event can bring to us.

Wishes are not benign feelings, unfortunately. They can provoke a sense of disappointment when unrealized and in sufficient numbers will add a level of depression that is unrealistic.

There should be no sense of entitlement in life beyond our true needs. And when we promote wishes we are a sense no better than the snake-oil salesman of the old west that made his fortune selling miracle cures.

And if we could refocus on our needs, we should also recognize the needs of others around us. Humans and creatures alike. Because there is no justification ever for denying the needs of any living creature.

And when we place our wants or wishes ahead of the needs of another, we allow our own selfishness to superimpose on the “greater good”. And I have a huge problem with that.

It is why I can never accept that there are billionaires alongside paupers. And that society is ok with that.

Imbalance caused by the wishes of some against the needs of others and against even the needs of the creatures that we share our planet with and even the planet itself … this is the darkness that risks all. And I mean all.

So the fact that I was even slightly bent out of shape by my wish for that Great Blue Heron last night … shame on me. I am sure he had much more important things to do that pander to a silly wish of an old man with a camera.

May all your needs be met today and if you get a want or two in the process, congratulations! You are ahead of most of this planet’s creatures.

Aah, if wishes were horses …

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