Hiding Place

The second set of images from my recent trail at Circle B involved (unsurprisingly) mostly birds.

The trails there are saturated with birds of all shapes and sizes and particularly at that time of the morning, my feathered friends are by and large busily searching for their breakfast.

The place is awash with the sounds of all their voices and we were repeatedly guided by sounds and activities, each demanding attention from our eyes (and of course, my lens).

While Anhingas and Cormorants searched beneath the surface, Herons and Egrets of all shapes and sizes stealthily gazed into the waters at their feet. Meanwhile Osprey and Hawks soared above us with eagle-eye looking for any movement or shapes below that they would then drop like a stone, to catch.

The poor fish didn’t have a chance. There is no safe harbor for those at the bottom of the food chain in a place like Circle B. Nowhere to hide. Someone will find you.

And if the birds didn’t get you, there was an abundance of alligators patrolling the waters ready to catch any unaware prey. We counted over thirty of them on our one pass of the trail by Lake Hancock.

There was also that one moment that seemed to break the seriousness of the surrounds as a young Raccoon walked straight up to us and passed by mere inches from our feet as he travelled north while we did south.

Anyway, I have put some pics of all this cast of characters at the end of the blog and I hope you enjoy!

The thought that occurred to me that resulted in today’s thought was the very notion of a hiding place and why we often seek one out.

In the animal kingdom that I describe above, hiding is one of the few defenses that is used to evade death at the hands of a predator. When there is no chance to outrun or fight off a predator, hiding is about the only option left.

But in the human world, hiding rarely involved such dramatic circumstances.

Yet many people spend alarmingly large portions of their lives hiding. There are those that hide from truth, others that hide from challenges, and yet others that hide from opportunity.

Truth has by and large become an abstract notion. It was once a simple and factual statement of reality but now thanks to people like Trump, Putin, and the unbalanced media and enablers that panders to them, there are millions that happily consume a narrative that appeals to them rather than one that is based on fact.

Willful blindness has become a trait that their supporters adopt as they counter facts about their heroes with nonsensical defenses. They accept “politically motivated” as a reasonable excuse to dismiss anything negative they hear, regardless of the fact that every despot in history almost has deferred to that phrase to deny their wrongdoings when confronted.

I had some moron tell me how Trump jumped out of his limo and saved a white woman who was being raped by a black man (note the roles of white and black in that story) and he completely believed that this was simply a fact that liberal media wouldn’t report on because they are politically motivated against Trump.

How do you speak to people like that? Where do you even begin?

The inability to grasp truth isn’t the issue as much as the ability to hide from it.

There are also those among us that hide from the challenges that life throws our way. I have seen many of my peers follow the Ostrich approach to difficulties and try to ride out a wave of struggle by simply sticking their head in the sand and hoping to out-wait it.

When life gives us challenges (and in most of our lives, it does) we cannot hide and hope that someone deals with it for us. When we were children we might have got away with that because our parents were there to recognize our inability to deal with the challenges and so they did on our behalf.

But in this adult world, challenges will only get tackled when we meet them in the field of battle and beat them. No, we are not going to beat all of them. We might even lose more than we win. But not-fighting and not dealing with is only a recipe for complete failure.

And then there are those that hide from opportunity. As crazy as that may sound, there are people for whom opportunities only represent the possibility of failure and disappointment. So they don’t take the risk and the opportunity passes them by.

When we hide from an opportunity we do ourselves such a disservice and miss out on the chance to advance our lives in a positive direction. Yes, there is a definite possibility that we will fail. That we will be unable to convert the opportunity into something concrete.

It might be too big for us. It might have arrived at the wrong time. We may not have the skills or the resources to capture it. But the simple truth is that unless we try to, we will never know whether we could have or not.

The most endearing aspect of America is not linked to it being the land of the free or the home of the brave. There are several countries that are more free and more brave. But it is the opportunity that it brings and the mindset that sees opportunity and reacts to it.

Unlike any other country in the world, America’s “can do” attitude became its calling card throughout the twentieth century and it became a beacon of hope for billions across the planet.

Even Fievel’s “There are no cats in America” story shone a beacon to immigrants the world over. It had nothing to do with democracy or freedom. But everything to do with the mind-set.

If we could harness the approach of our forefathers and be willing to take a risk when opportunity comes knocking, then our failure becomes nothing to be afraid of. But rather a step closer to success.

… just a thought!