PSA – Animals are wild.


Just finished a little trip to Cape Town. Wining and dining with a significant amount of walking, talking, visiting people and animals alike.

Saw penguins in abundance and dang are they as cute in person as they ever were on Wild Kingdom!!

Saw chickens.

Saw a couple donkeys.

AND Saw seals as well.  At first was super disappointed because I couldn’t get a good view of them in the water.

Then suddenly one of my friends said, “Hey, the seals are back on the cement behind the restaurant!”

I immediately jump up and run back to where the seal is.  I’m a super cautious person and I know not to get too close to wild animals. So I peek around the corner of the building and there he is.. a passive seal, laying like a giant oil spill behind the fish delivery truck.

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I snap a couple pictures of the lazy seal and start to walk back to our table.  Then lo and behold…on the other side of the lazy seal is a beautiful massive seal sunning on the rocks behind the delivery truck.

I carefully walk past lazy seal who does not even bat an eye.  I get some amazing pictures and now contented, decide to return to my table.

As I turn around, lazy seal is now standing tall on his flippers just staring at me.  Still on the other end of the delivery truck but standing up..and as tall as I am..and just staring at me!!  This photo does NOT do this seal justice!

I realize now there were a multitude of options I could have taken but at the time there was really only one option in my vision.

That option was to return the way I came. His back was too me and if I move slowly.. no loud sounds .. I’d be ok. I mean, he was super nice when I passed him the first time.. what could go wrong.

I slowly approached him (did not cross my mind this might cause an animal to think I was stalking IT!). I get directly to his backside as he is eyeing me over his shoulder.  Suddenly he leaps in the air and rotates to face me (WHO KNEW SEALS COULD LEAP!!!) and barks. His bark may or may not have been worse than his bite but I will never know.

I have experienced fear in my life and even thought I had known terror a time or two.  I was wrong. This day.. with this seal.. I felt for the very first time.. sheer, blind-white terror.  I remember some of the details, but many were restated and even re-enacted by my friends who were with me.

I screamed..  I ran.. I ran blindly.. I fell.. I fell with abandon.. I think I was still running and screaming.. even from a horizontal position.

I finally stood up. Seal was forgotten and apparently gone.  My hands were bleeding.. my shoulder was bleeding.. my forehead was bleeding.  My ring finger on my left hand was no longer aligned top to bottom.  I still felt no pain.  I was fixated on my finger and the random position it was in.

A friend’s friend’s son was like, “That don’t look right!”  I looked at his dad and flatly said, “Put it back.”  He asked, “Uh, what?”  Me: “Put IT back where it was… MY FINGER.. JUST PUT IT back.” He asked if I was sure.. according to others I said yes. He did. I am whole..a little more learned.. and healing nicely I think.

public service announcement: DO NOT PLAY WITH WILD ANIMALS

*no matter how docile they appear!

Strong


strong

“She made broken look beautiful
and strong look invincible.
She walked with the Universe
on her shoulders and made it
look like a pair of wings.”
― Ariana Dancu

“She’s an old soul with young eyes, a vintage heart, and a beautiful mind.”
― Nicole Lyons

“You can love her with everything you have and she still wont belong to you. She will run wild with you, beside you with everystep but let me tell you something about women who run with wolves, their fierce hearts dont settle between walls and their instinct is stronger than upbringing. Love her wild or leave her there.”
― Nikki Rowe

“I walked up to Griz and poked him in the chest. “Let me make this perfectly clear to you. Though some might seek to make it appear otherwise, I am not a bride to be bartered away to another kingdom, not a prize of war, not a mouthpiece for your Komizar. I am not a chip in a card game to be mindlessly tossed into the center of the pot, nor one to be kept in the tight fist of a greedy opponent. I am a player seated at the table alongside everyone else, and from this day forward, I will play my own hand as I see fit. Do you understand me? Because the consequences could be ugly if someone thought otherwise.”
― Mary E. Pearson, The Heart of Betrayal

“Balsa seemed invincible, endowed with powers no other warrior could match, but in her profile he could glimpse the shadow of a young girl, hurt and buffeted by a cruel and hopeless fate. If he had never experienced what it was like to be at the mercy of fate himself, he would not have noticed, but now he could see it with unbearable, heartrending clarity.”
― Nahoko Uehashi, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

“She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.”
― Roman Payne

Paths and Adventures – – and – – Slowing it Down.


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  -Mark Twain

 

The shape of a path in no way determines the adventure.

There is very little I fear more than thinking about staying in one place 444444 evahhhhhhhh!!!  I have been moving around nearly all of my life.  First through my imagination. On through books, movies, art, and music.  Followed by the actual physical act of moving around through the military, teaching, and now my current job.

 “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”    -Ernest Hemingway

Moving, moving, moving.

 “Oh, the places you’ll go.”    -Dr. Seuss

The paths I have followed and the decisions I have made have provided me more adventures than I can ever recount.  So many paths and so many emotions with each of those paths.

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”  -Aldous Huxley

I have learned so much from the places I have been.  Maybe the biggest thing is that we are all the same.  Even in our greatest differences, we are the same.  We have kids, we have homes, we have happiness and sadness, we have a life and we long for more.  Each of us longs for more.  More safety, more money, more happiness, more education, more life.  More of everything.. … …

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”   -Helen Keller

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”  -Robert Louis Stevenson

As I think back on it all, it’s hard to believe how many places I have traveled to.  what I have seen and heard and tasted and drank and experienced.

Great experiences all of them.  But as I look back in wonder and happiness, I also feel a bit of a black hole.  Through all of my travels, even when surrounded by many, I was often alone .. felt alone .. sometimes disconnected .. sometimes and only sometimes .. a little sad.  More happy than sad… but sometimes still sad.

I love coming back home and seeing old friends and family. I would say it keeps me grounded.   ~~Coy Bowles

Because of that, I am now oddly considering slowing down.  Considering remaining in one place with only normal, average (never really average with me) vacations that might take me mere miles from my home.  Maybe further, but finding a home base that I will exist in and travel to and from.  The same place always returning to.. the same place..

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.  ~~ Maya Angelou 

Part of me feels a stirring of panic at that thought.  The mere notion of not packing up my life every 2-4 years and starting over seems unnatural.  Makes me feel tense and uncomfortable. However, there are reasons to really start thinking about the possibilities of finding a home base.

These two pictures reflects only five years of separation.  Only five years but a life time of growth.  What am I missing by being so far away all of the time.  I do not regret my travels or my time away.  I just know that for every path and adventure, there are other paths that provide other adventures.  I have traveled the world as well as my home country and I am ready to rebuild and bond with the paths I have left behind.  Include people into my paths that I miss profoundly.  However, that path will have its own challenges, fears, and limitations.  The limitations are where my fears are the strongest.

The key to growth is acknowledging your fear of the unknown and jumping in anyway. ~~Jen Sincero

I have to remind myself though that the limitations that I am afraid of are really only limits in my own mind.  The past paths have led me to amazing places and introduced me to amazing people.  They will not disappear if I stay in one place.  As a matter of fact, I may find that by staying in one place I will be able to connect deeper to the people and places I am constantly leaving behind.

“You’ll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart.” —George Michael

Sometimes my heart tells me to stay put and other times my heart says to keep moving.  But my heart of hearts tells me that being around the people that I love and that make me smile and smile with me and laugh at my silly jokes.. is where I need to be…

My personal goals are to be happy, healthy and to be surrounded by loved ones. ~~Kiana Tom

To laugh.. to laugh at.. to be laughed at.. to laugh with..

It was the way you laughed… I knew I wanted that in my life. ~~ R.M. Drake

Yeah.  I do want to slow down, reconnect, connect deeper.  I still have a few years.. but I think that my heart of hearts is giving me some good signs..  love these people and places and so many more…and I think I can combine some new paths, news adventures, new people, new laughs….. AND slowing it down.

 

We are all here for a spell. Get all the good laughs you can. — Will Rogers

The point is seeing that THIS — the immediate, everyday and present experience — is IT, the entire and ultimate point for the existence of a universe. I believe that if this state of consciousness could become more universal, the pretentious nonsense which passes for the serious business of the world would dissolve in laughter… — Alan Watts

Laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for democracy. — John Cleese

Other Paths

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