Most people go through life thinking, ‘I’ll show up and kick some ass when I’m bullet-proof and perfect.’
I was zoning out in my car listening to NPR’s Ted Radio Hour when I heard these words – and snapped to attention. The speaker was research professor Brené Brown, who was discussing her popular TED talk, “The Power of Vulnerability”. Obviously, she struck a nerve.
This life is so fleeting – just a cosmic flash, really. Yet many of us avoid vulnerability and risk at all costs. So afraid of making a mistake and looking like a jerk that we wait…and wait…and wait… for the perfect moment to fall in love, to express that big idea, to take a leap of faith or follow our passion down a new path.
I was reminded of life’s impermanence yesterday.
It was “golden hour” at Green Cay Wetlands, just before sunset. Birds were wading through the marsh, and the sky was filled with roseate spoonbills, whistling ducks, green herons and ibises flying to their roosting spots – a truly idyllic scene! I came across a group of birds feeding, and felt quite serene as I watched and photographed them. That is, until…
I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but I will tell you this: One moment a young little blue heron was wading along peacefully, and the next moment he was gone – pulled into the water by a hungry alligator that had been lurking beneath the vegetation. In an instant, all that remained were a few white feathers.
Needless to say, I was horrified, and did not stick around to snap any further photos. But I thought a lot about that little blue heron today, and the lesson he left me. Life is happening. Now. At this very moment. And in the blink of an eye, it disappears.
So let’s take a look at some birds and wildlife who know a thing or two about living in the moment. This is what they do: