I did get away this weekend, as I alluded to earlier, and spent an entire day watching motocross. It was noisy, dirty, smelly...and wonderful. In previous writings, I have revealed how I view motocross tracks and the riders who navigate them. The entire experience is a metaphor for the long life we live. The short motocross track is "Life Condensed" to its' most fundamental and critical elements, and reveals the rider's true nature as he/she pushes past each obstacle that is presented on the course. By the time the race begins, training and planning are done, and reactions take over. Split second decisions are made and responses are knee jerk, and oftentimes linked directly to the heart and soul of the rider. There is always so much to learn about life when you spend the day watching motocross.
We arrived early in the morning, and were directed to park on the grassy areas of the property, lining up our trucks, vans, and trailers in rows. After finally parking my F150, I began walking towards the track. Looking back at the long line of vehicles waiting to park, I wondered how everyone would fit, and it became evident that that there would be little lawn left by the time the races began. A few feet away from my truck, I saw a tiny frog in the grass that would soon become a huge temporary parking lot. Well, my reactions were instinctive and beyond my control. I scooped up the tiny frog, jumped out of the way of incoming cars and delayed my current path to the track. I walked to the edge of the property and into the woods where I could be certain that the tiny frog would not be disturbed, set him down and watched him jump away. I felt really happy.
Why do I care so much, and how does sparing one frog's life really matter? All my life I have loved and cared for animals, and with the passage of time my sensitivity deepens. I have rescued dogs from the side of the road, pulled chipmunks and squirrels from swimming pools after finding them exhausted and barely treading water, provided sanctuary for kittens found roaming, starving and flea infested, and have rehabilitated birds shaken from their nests and thrown to the ground following violent thunderstorms. I have climbed trees to place birds eggs back in their nests in the hope that they will still hatch, and instead of squashing bugs found inside, I capture and set them free outdoors where they belong. I have watched my mom tag Monarch butterflies, prolong the lives of family pets overcome with cancer, and have heard the stories of how she rescued lab animals from the testing unit at The University of Pennsylvania before I was born. I have watched the expression of wonder on my dad's face, each and every time he saw a bird in flight.
I have been "in training" for quite some time...and my reactions are "knee jerk". I will never be able to walk away and turn my head when I see an animal in need. There are times when this is really inconvenient, and I wish that I could just be "normal". But I have learned not to fight it, because to do so is against my nature. I will always care too much, wonder about everything, and be passionately persistent about it all. The simple act of rescuing a frog from inevitable tragedy is simply who I am.
I started the business of making extraordinarily beautiful pet beds because I am in love with loving our pets, and wish to provide them with all the comfort they need and more. Over the milleniums, our society has deliberately domesticated these animals into becoming the creatures that will inhabit our homes and give us unconditional love and loyaly. Our pets totally depend on us for their lives, the quality by which they will live, and the love and comfort they will receive. We are so much stronger and more able than they will ever be, due to our own design. Instead of turning our backs on what we have created, why not do all we can do, and give them exactly what they need, with the highest quality ever. It is really just that easy.
There is a true nature, or authenticity, in each of us which is completely exposed when we are challenged or stressed by the obstacle in our path. To understand and acknowledge it is to honor the deepest part of ourselves. To see it revealed on the motocross track is life affirming for me, not just because I get a glance at the rider's character, but in the gestalt, great discipline, honest play, and the relentless pursuit of excellence usually prevail and win. In my case, I am demonstrating my character every time I rescue a frog or provide sanctuary for another animal in my home. And by reaching even further, creating my company and giving it everything I am capable of; vision, energy, talent, and the relentless pursuit of excellence... I am honoring the very core of my being.
It is true that adversity in life introduces us to our authentic selves.