Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Unexplainable Things

My grumpy old cat sitting in the sunshine.

I'm not entirely certain what she's grumpy about but she has been sitting there meowing all morning.


The world is full of unexplainable stuff.  Just the other day I noticed little bunches of sundew growing all over the back yard.

(Bad picture from my phone.)  Funny little plant.  Cute.  Carnivorous.  Catches its prey by gluing them down. 

Kinda reminded me of when I used to work at the Arboretum.  I had to give tours to school kids to teach them about native plants, so I would have to cut open a pitcher plant to show them how that carnivorous plant caught bugs to eat:  besides having a nasty necrotic scent that is alluring to insects, it has very nifty downward-growing hairs in the pitcher that prevent trapped bugs escaping once their curiosity has taken them inside.  The critters don't die easily or quickly; the plant takes its time digesting them.  (That's more than you wanted to know, isn't it?)

Anyway, one day while I was on a tour with first graders, I had the misfortune to choose a pitcher plant that was absolutely loaded with not-dead-yet bugs.  In fact, they were very lively and thrilled to take the nearest escape other words, they ran down my arm. 

It was a warm day, no sleeves.  Ugh!  I do NOT like bugs and especially not on my bare skin.  But you shouldn't scare six-year-olds no matter what, so I acted like it was all perfectly normal to have dozens of bugs crawling on me.  I finished the demonstration as quickly as I reasonably could and sent the class down to the next station to wait for me. 

As I was brushing off the bugs (some of which were biting and stinging) while still trying not to scream, I felt a tug on the hem of my blouse.  It was a little boy.  He beckoned me to come down closer where he could whisper in my ear.  He had a question, "How can you be so brave?"

I told him the truth,  "Sometimes we have to behave bravely even when our hearts don't feel brave at all."

Sometimes it's all you've got.

Sometimes we have to behave bravely
even when our hearts don't feel brave at all. 

Yeah, definitely my philosophy when I've got bugs running down my arm or when my elderly cat is hollering at unknown haints or the world is inexplicably uncooperative in so many ways.  Acting brave helps us to become so.

Life is good.

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