On the grey days

We had a cold front move through earlier today and I could see it coming in yesterday evening when I was planning my day today. Rain was forecast as 100% in the morning and as expected I woke up to thick grey clouds.

I had resolved anyway to head for Circle B no matter what and it looked like I had about a two hour window after sunrise and before the rain came. So, gloomy or not, I grabbed the camera and headed off to one of the trails.

My expectations were absolutely minimal and with many of the creatures bedded down waiting for the front to pass over, the place seemed quite deserted.

The wind was keeping most of the birds out of the sky and the few that were there seemed to be quite subdued in what they were up to.

But here’s the thing … each of these guys brought color into the day just by being there and I appreciate every one of them. If they had all hidden away, I wouldn’t have held it against them so every little creature that I saw was a real bonus.

And boy were there some beautiful little bonuses there for me today. You can see here for yourself some of the guys that braved the grey day. My favorite shots are of the tricolor heron, the lone feather floating on the water, and the amazing little colored bunting.

I had never seen a bunting before and to find him at the very end of my trail was an unexpected splash of color in a genuinely grey day.

I hope you enjoy!

It was that little guy that really got me thinking on today’s topic. You see, it wasn’t that it was a bad day; it wasn’t. It wasn’t that I hadn’t got some nice pics already; I had.

It was that he arrived completely unexpectedly and that if some kind person hadn’t pointed him out to me, I might have totally passed by the bush he was hidden in.

We all have rainy days in our life. We all have sunny days in our life. We may go through periods of sustained rain or long periods of sunshine. But the truth is that much of our lives is played out in grey days.

These are days that are non-descript, uneventful, not bad and not good … just grey days.

For many of us, these days pass by without distinction and they can be a real source of life passing us by, if we let it.

You see, much like the bunting, there is almost always a splash of color that we can find in our grey day. It doesn’t have to be a day changer; turning a day on its head.

It just needs to be a moment that we can acknowledge where something is special. For example, you might spot a rainbow, or a little flower in bloom, or a butterfly flits by. These are scarcely moments in and of themselves, but we can stop and breathe them in nonetheless.

Because when we stop and acknowledge something even as “trivial” as the little flower, we absorb its color into our day. We make it a little less grey.

Not all such little moments will be as colorful as the little bunting but they all count.

Have you ever lain in bed at the end of a grey day and wrestled with finding anything of significance that made the day worthwhile? You might convince yourself that you are just tired and need to go to sleep but the truth is that if you have stopped to smell a single flower and dreamed along the fight of a gentle butterfly, then all of a sudden just that tiny part of your day become memorable.

We don’t remember grey days. They fade away into obscurity as soon as they are gone. If there are enough of them, they account for the main reason why people let life pass them by. Suddenly waking out of a sleep to realize that the years are slipping by at an alarming rate.

But the moment we inject a little color into one, we add a memory that slows down the passage of time and makes each day a more valuable part of our life experience.

While we don’t know how many days we get on this planet, a good rule of thumb is to make as many of them as memorable as possible. Even if for nothing else than a tiny splash of color we added into one that was otherwise fading into grey.

… just a thought.

Normal Life

I have been silent, at least blog-wise, for the past few weeks. It has been a time-filled, chaotic, period interspersed with periods of normality that have allowed me to catch a breath.

During that time, the only real shots I have taken is of the life around me here at the creek. But I plan to visit a trail tomorrow and thought that I should put a quick note here with images from this time away, rather than just lose them in a file folder on my PC.

My five office cats are all here, along with TC (the little guy with the milk-beard) but Tetsuo and he-who-is-as-yet-unnamed, aren’t.

I also have a few shots of Woody at the very end, who seems to be hanging around here recently banging his head off some of the trees in my yard.

Anyway, hope you enjoy.

So, I guess that brings the cat-contingent here at home to twelve.

I guess one might say that I have a liking for cats. But I never imagined that I would end up the old catman that I have become.

And this has really made me pause to think about “normal” life and what it means to each of us.

The whole Trump era, the pandemic, and now this criminal war in Ukraine, seems to have really taken us all away from whatever we once considered normal and frankly I doubt if we will ever get back there.

Trump has created a new level of lying and deceit that will live on long after he is rotting in a coffin somewhere. The pandemic has altered daily life to a level that it will never return to pre-pandemic levels. And Putin has shown that true evil not only exists in the world but it has the support of the willfully ignorant.

So, how could normal ever return after all that?

And that raises the other question, which is “What is normal anyway?”

You see, my version of normal is not just different from most other people I know, but it is also different from what I considered normal some years ago.

And if I am correct, that means that most of you reading this will have also experienced several changes in your lives that redefined what normal is for you too.

You might therefore arrive at the conclusion that normal is a moving target. But truthfully, I would suggest that normal doesn’t exist.

It never did and it never will.

It is a figment of our imagination and something that we wish for when something in our lives is not going well.

It has become the fountain of youth of our generations. Something to wish for but never to attain.

More often than not, when we are in unhappy times, we search backwards in our memories to a time we were happy and we wish ourselves back there.

But was there ever really a “there” or is it just something that we have reshaped into a happier moment than where we are?

This aching for a better time is why some pathetic dotard can popularize a catch phrase like “Make America Great Again” and all the idiots buy the red hats in support and preach about taking us back to a better time.

But who exactly was this America great for? Are the black republicans really imagining the same great time in the past as the ignorant rednecks? Do they really want to sit in the back of a bus again?

And it is easy to pick on the morons, I know. But this issue is a lot bigger than just the red politics. It’s bigger than the commie bastards that want to pull a new curtain across Europe.

The real problem is so embedded into life for all of us that it creates a veil of unhappiness across our very existence. Individually it creates a real level of dissatisfaction in our lives that steals the joy from our achievements and undermines any sense of good in our status quo.

It runs rife through groups; political, religious, social, or whatever. Uniting them in a common cause of dissatisfaction where they collectively push for something. For example look how overactive these gun nuts are … they aren’t happy with having a handgun or two. They need assault rifles, bazookas, and other weapons of mass destruction because somehow that makes them think these might take them back to a time they were happy with the size of their dicks.

Dissatisfaction is a cruel master. By it’s very nature, it can never be satisfied. We might think once we invade Crimea we will be happy, but no. We also need Ukraine.

If we could develop a level of satisfaction with where we are instead of always wishing we were somewhere else, our sense of normal would return.

When we aim for a normal that never existed, it can never be reached. And therein lies the problem.

… just a thought.