A very pretty bird-song greeted me this morning. One I don’t remember hearing before. It was multi-toned. Unlike the usual two or three notes that bring a stem of two or three cherries to mind, this one sounded like a bunch of plump, purple grapes that you see painted in a still life. I immediately wanted to know from which bird it came. Then I wished I had a recording of bird sounds that gave you the name of each bird, which I could look up for details.
At that point, my mind reflected on all the things, besides family, that interested me: words, books, writing, birds, cooking, weather, history, sewing, movies, architecture, science, gardening, forests, mountains, rivers/creeks/lakes/waterfalls, people-watching, genealogy, home decor, art, antiques, bats, music, philosophy, dancing, research, organizing, travel, learning, puzzles, singing, spirituality, stationery/wrapping paper, butterflies, snorkeling, games, et cetera. Things on which I would like to concentrate. So many interesting things that give me pleasure and make my soul sigh. (What does your list look like?)
Aside from reading, writing, and watching the grandkids, I couldn’t be single-minded for more than twelve hours at a time – no matter what. And then, I’d still have to eat and go to the bathroom. Don’t get me wrong: I have no problem focusing, but single-mindedness is just not in my nature. I’m curious. There are too many things about which I know too little or nothing, and that bugs me. I want to know. I have to know. Things that stir questions and require answers. Answers that stimulate more curiosity and lead to more questions are my favorite.
However, there are also several things about which I will never understand, no matter how much research I delve into or how many answers I find – cruelty and violence in all their forms. There is absolutely no justification for any of it, nor should it ever be tolerated. But, sadly/unfortunately, it continues to occur in all cultures and societies…
Long ago I realized I was not the type of person who could ever be satisfied working in a factory for thirty or more years. The repetitious tedium would have driven me crazy. I’m sure there is a way to get through it; millions have and continue to do so. They have the ability to put in their 40-hr. weeks and enjoy their weekends with their minds totally free of work. Perhaps if my parents had stayed where they were in Indiana, at the same job and in the same house, I may have felt differently. But we moved and moved and moved. My wanderlust became ingrained, and my curiosity was forever piqued. Something new greeted me wherever we went. How can people stay in one place without venturing outside the city/county limits or even be curious about what’s around the next bend in the road? Contentment? Fear?
As we move through life, it isn’t that our interests necessarily change, but rather our priorities must readjust. For example, swimming used to give me a lot of pleasure. I took to the water like a fish. Even before becoming a competitive swimmer, I loved swimming, especially in clear waters. In sparkling pools I would stay underwater and watch the sun’s rays or challenging myself to see how long I could go without coming up for air. It was so quiet and peaceful down at the bottom. I could dive and jump as I pleased, too, but then salivary gland cancer ruined everything. By paralysing my seventh cranial nerve, it made my left eye incapable of closing. Water would sting my eyeball if I swam without goggles, which ended the diving, jumping, and splashing. Gone was the spontaneity of swimming like a dolphin, and thus the enjoyment decreased. What a drag! Luckily, I can still snorkel, whenever the opportunity arises…I could snorkel all day!