One hardly thinks they’ll find themselves scruffing around in the woods at 1 a.m. with a flashlight, looking for predators. As a matter of fact, I used to have nightmares about this thing that is now a fairly normal occurrence.
Just now, out there with rain dripping off the trees, looking with my light everywhere for eyes-animal-sure-human too, unafraid, just focused on the fact that I forgot to lock my chickens up, and chickens, apparently, are prime fodder for the various scavenger. What I think about is all I have put into them, the time, the feed, the days and nights of care.
I have a neighbor who used to live in this house, long ago, before it was foreclosed on his parents, and he (the neighbor) has something of an attachment still. Over the years, we’ve found the odd cigarette butts outside, the occasional beer bottle, and the odd happening when our donkeys got loose one day, we pursued them up to the front of the property and came upon them, standing right in front of him. They knew him, he had visited before.
While we give each other sidelong glances, we are strangely and cautiously okay with this. We just know he comes around. He never bothers anyone and never says the odd word. His brain was fried long ago by drug use, and he’s just a little off, in the way of not being completely aware that he is dazed. His parents take care of him, and we, having experienced much worse, understand in sad acceptance, and interject the situation into conversation now and then for comic relief or a heads up.
“By the way, Richard was over yesterday. He said hello and not to let the horses graze so
much that the ground turns into mud.”……”Okay, gotcha.”
Life is full of dark things, muddy things that don’t fit into the puzzle. Facts of misfortune and grief. I think we get through them by doing a measure of mental editing. We think, ‘Well, that’s the way she is’, or ‘I committed to this so I’m just going to have to deal with it.’
It teaches coping and even self-delusion, like the smiling faces on Facebook, where everyone has an awesome vacation and the complete devotion of their kids and spouse. It’s necessary and strange, and strangely darkly real. You need a flashlight and willingness to look objectively for predators and have no fear. You have to be okay with scruffing through with the rain dripping down on you, and know there is a purpose.