What would we be doing with our time if we didn’t have an interest in the natural world around us?I’d not really given this a thought, but a recent Blogger exchange with Ric has changed that. What indeed...
Was there a moment in your life that switched you on - seriously switched you on - to becoming almost obsessional with wildlife? There was for me. I’ve blogged about it before. It was the moment a Jay hopped across our back garden lawn and ignited my 15 year old mind. There had been opportunities for this to happen before, times when I had acknowledged a bird, butterfly or mammal but had not felt inspired enough to delve further. Had that Jay not appeared in front of me, would another event have occurred in later years which would have had the same effect? That is hard to predict. I can only imagine that as you grow older, and your mind becomes less malleable, such events would lose their potency, and would be out-competed by any passion that would have been subsequently embraced.
So, no Jay, and no other ignition further down the line. Where would I now be spending my time?
Seeing that most of my mid-teen years was spent birding, I need to look at what ‘floated my boat’ just prior to that. I did have hobbies. I collected stamps and coins. I played football and cricket. I was in the schools athletics team. I went and watched football (Tottenham, Crystal Palace and Sutton United). I read avidly. I painted. Any of these could have become addictions. Maybe I would now be one of those Spurs supporters who go to every game, home and away, spending thousands of pounds each season on tickets and travel; or I would be an exhibiting artist having honed my artistic skills through years of fine tuning; all those history books I devoured might have found me wandering fields with a metal detector or volunteering with an archeological team; or maybe another thunderbolt from a completely different sphere would have struck me and carried me off.
Chance plays a big part it where we go and what we do with our lives. When we reach a crossroads we don’t always knowingly decide which road to take, as we have made our choice by instinct and might not even be aware that we have. It is not until much later that we can look back and see where our life-choices were made.
I’m so glad that the Jay did decide to hop across that lawn back in 1974. Without it I would have missed out on an awful lot.