Staying home does not often suit me but today my car lies idle for repairs in the “shop”. Perhaps, I should undertake some positive mind diversion today. On this cloudy and unseasonably cool day in South Florida, I take time then to breathe deeply and ponder the wonders of life outside my lakefront condominium. Gaze thoughtfully at this menagerie of animal wildness surrounding me. As I am deeply troubled by the incessant prophecies of Presidential doom, some light-hearted relief and much needed therapy from animal behavior can surely be obtained.
I rise in early morning as the blue intensity of sunrise appears. From my kitchen window, I watch the pitty-pat movement of little paws as squirrels file down obediently from their palm tree haven. They then scurry up the stairs to our second floor condo overhang to pick up their prized peanuts for the day. Aggression for food sets in at times as an occasional critter climbs up the screen door to attract my attention. Others have learned to extend their skinny hands to frantically grab the precious peanut from me. Even the nearby presence of our resident white cat, it seems, does not discourage their “love of the nut.” I truly admire the trust that they convey in my presence every day to provide the feeding service that they so desperately savor. I only wish our current political climate would inspire similar faith that our politicians would deliver the “fruits of democracy” that our citizenry so fervently desires.
As the sun warms the morning over the lake behind my family apartment, the “Turtle Convention” normally convenes with regularity on the edge of the mucky shoreline. Due to the overcast conditions and lower temperatures today, however, very few turtles surface for my prized, photo opportunity. On a more pleasant weather day, they would tightly mass together ashore, each with their little heads pointing thoughtfully toward the sun rays above. Big or small, each turtle commands equal right to soak up the warmth that their cold -blooded metabolisms so critically need. An occasional iguana arrives to greet the turtles at times and are welcome to lie motionless with them for a spell. If only our Congress could convene in such a cooperative manner, where the voice of both Republicans and Democrats were equally welcomed. ( i.e. Elizabeth Warren comes to mind).
An explosion of bird life settles in along the artificial lake in early afternoon, as I settle in to read on my back patio. Sheer survival in this natural aviary invites vigorous competition for food among a variety of species: Snowy egrets, Muscovy ducks, Egyptian geese, and American coots. A juvenile, male goose, in particular, has caught my attention recently, displaying awkwardly damaged wings and a seemingly unwillingness to swim. Observing Turkey vultures swooping low in anticipation of an easy kill, I have decided to assist the vulnerable goose get stronger in his fight for survival. Fending off his stronger rivals, each day I lay a plentiful portion of birdseed for the needy goose to munch on and sit patiently while he consumes it. In the past week, I have noticed he flaps his wings more. He also braves further from his accustomed spot along the lakeshore and has begun to swim at will. I predict that his healed wings will ultimately allow him to fly again. The resiliency of this lone goose to heal his injury and thrive in this fierce environment of survival thus inspires my human spirit. I can therefore find strength that pursuit of my own healthy body will help me withstand the anticipated stress of our crisis-seeking Presidency.
As arguably the most famous South Florida tourist, Donald Trump also enjoys the warm confines of the outdoors in the our winter season. Today, I imagine him teeing off at one of his wonderful golf courses, escaping from the endless burdens of his Presidency as hard-working taxpayers in his country seethe in anger at how much these weekend escapades cost them. I also visualize his decision to build a formidable wall around his Mar-a Lago estate in Palm Beach. His “self-proclaimed majesty” can now mindlessly “twitter” in privacy, ignoring the daily protest outside his opulent expanse of property. Suddenly, a “Breaking News” animal “twist” occupies my mind. A suspicious flock of seagull will swoop down and lay a fusillade of slimy poop on the top of the President’s head. As “Secret Service” agents amass into defensive position, “fake news” will again save his day. I can hear his opportunistic shouts now. “Where is Steve Bannon? Better yet, call Breitbart.” The inevitable invasion has begun and I begin to laugh.