Sunday, October 14, 2012
A change in the weather
Last night I kept thinking about a video I watched yesterday. It is from the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, about a bunch of ducks mistreated by their owner and rescued by the sanctuary. They were all adult ducks and had never been in water before. It's less than two minutes long, and I've now watched it several times, each time with feelings I can't quite identify. (You might want to make it full screen since I can't seem to figure out how to get it to fit into my existing column. The sound is nice but not necessary.)
The birds were terrified of the water and had to be reintroduced to it several times, until finally one of them realized that it was, well, fun. Before long all of them had taken to the water and were enjoying themselves immensely. It made me realize that all creatures know little of life except what we experience at birth. How would a duck know that it belongs in water if it never is around it? How would any of us know how wonderful life could be if we are mistreated when we are born? That is all we know, and that's what we expect as we go through our days.
I guess that's what the feeling is: a mixed one of sadness that some of us are not given our birthright, and gratitude that there are people like those at the sanctuary who help creatures to have a better life. Adding value to any life is worthwhile, and it makes me hopeful that we humans will one day tip the scales towards compassion rather than neglect. I realize that this might be a bit of a pollyanna point of view, but it's the one I choose. I'd like to think that we are evolving towards kindness and the comprehension that we are all in this together.
Although it's dreary outside, I'm enjoying the change in the weather. I have a warm safe apartment to share with my partner, and we can stand inside and watch the trees bend in the wind and listen to the rain. I don't need to go out in it until I have girded myself with appropriate gear. It's hard to believe that only a few days ago I was in full sunshine in the High Country with my friends, sweating and slathering on sunscreen. Yesterday I pulled my expensive eVent raincoat out of the closet and used it for the first time in months. It will get a workout for awhile now.
I have looked at the long-range weather forecasts, however, and I have learned that we are expected to get a bit less rain here in the Pacific Northwest than usual. For the past two winters, we've been inundated with higher-than-normal snowpack, so it might make for a nice change. In fact, I might even get to skydive this winter, if the weather cooperates at all. The only thing I need is sunshine, even if it's cold. You go up in the plane and jump out, having only a few minutes to deal with the cold. In Colorado where the sun shines most days, I jumped year round; any time it was above freezing on the ground you would see crazy skydivers loading the plane, swaddled in enough clothes under their jumpsuits to look like overstuffed teddy bears. I was one of them.
Now that I'm thinking of it, I remember one day when we had a heavy snowfall all day long on Saturday, nice fluffy Colorado powder. On Sunday morning I woke to see that the sky was completely blue! I packed up my stuff and headed to the Drop Zone, knowing that there would be others who would want to jump, once they cleared the runway. And sure enough, I made three or four skydives that day, landing in soft powder snow. It looked odd to see steps in the snow that seemed to start from nowhere heading to the hangar. I suppose I wouldn't do that again today, since I have so many more skydives now than I did then. But then again, I also know now what I might miss out on!
One thing that we can all count on: whatever weather we are having right now will change. Every season is ostensibly only three months long, and the years flow by, giving us everything from rain and snow to brilliant blue skies. I wish you many days of whatever weather makes you happiest, with just a little bit of the other kind to remind you how nice it is when you have your favorite weather.