It’s after sunset now and I just went outside to bring the Baltimore oriole and hummingbird feeders in. If I don’t do that, chances are good that raccoons will climb the poles and go for the goodies, breaking some plastic stuff in the process.
It’s really dark at the side of my home and I was thinking about something as I rounded the corner to the backyard. And … Zap! Munching sunflower seeds below my other feeders were three skunks. My heart pounding skyrocketed and I was rooted to the spot. And then my mind took over:
They’re going to spray you. Get out of there!
I consider myself somewhat evolved but there I was, back in cave man days. Fight or flight. It’s all about survival. I could feel my body shaking and I was universes away from appreciating the grace of the animals. The person I thought Bruce was had disappeared … in a flash. I had no control over my consciousness, and I scurried back around the corner.
Back in the living room, I turned on the outside lights. Two of my black and white friends were still chowing down. The white stripe on their backs formed a Y shape and their tails were pointing to the sky. And I realized that they are indeed very beautiful animals. It was like they were models wearing tuxedos.
Skunks aren’t the only creatures that I react to with knee jerk responses. Certain groups of humans bring automatic negative thoughts out of me. I’m sad that this is the case. My job is not to act on such explosions of judgment. And when I turn on the light of living, I see that these beings are lovely to behold. They need not reduce me to fear but instead can unfold me into brotherhood and sisterhood.