Monday, January 16, 2012

Getting Along

I’ve always been fascinated by the expression “getting along”—I’m not certain that I know what it means.  Seriously.  If I take these two words apart from each other, it seems I’d never think to put them back together.  Are you getting it?  I’ve never been along this road before. 

And it is so easy to morph “getting along” into completely different expressions:  you get along; get on along now; not getting along at all. How are you getting along? Or how about, get along little doggies…

I like this national holiday we call Martin Luther King Day.  I won’t pretend to know a lot about the man.  All I know is that I’m much more comfortable honoring Martin Luther King than I am honoring Christopher Columbus.  But that’s just my knothole view.
I do know that birding helps me realize the importance of observation.  I’ve learned that it is difficult for me to truly observe what Mother Nature has created if I take things for granted, or if I just make ignorant assumptions, or if I forget to pause and study what may seem common place.

Sometimes I assume things with just half a glance.  I saw a bird sitting on a tree limb, from behind, and assumed it was an Eastern Phoebe.  I almost didn’t put my 10x42s on it.  And then I did, and I was surprised by a hint of blue and rufous coloring:

I wasn’t looking at an Eastern Phoebe; I was looking at an Eastern Bluebird:

And is an Eastern Bluebird a “better” bird than an Eastern Phoebe?  No, and I’m not sure the question makes sense.  But I had made assumptions, with a quick glance, and formed an opinion that was wrong.  I tend to do that with Hue-mawns more often than with Aves. 
And sometimes as a birder I give chase to the new and the rare, and forget to find the beauty in the common and the familiar.  How often do I stop and really study a Common Moorhen, and note the beauty of its ruby eyes and subtle markings against its uniquely black body?

I like to reflect today, not only on specific quotes by Martin Luther King, but also on my own observations of change to my corner of the world since the 1960’s.  I especially like to reflect on a quote I heard many years ago.  A 5 year old child was attempting to explain their understanding of Martin Luther King’s message.  And with the wisdom and words of that 5 year old:

“We don’t have to all like each other, but can’t we all just get along?”

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy and admire your intensity of observation and thoughtful musings. You encourage me to do likewise. I suspect it was that desire that made the picture of the turtles scream at me to examine and ponder for some deep meaning. My epiphany? Oh to be a turtle. The most important decision of the day is to find the right log. How deep is that!!!



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