THE CALL OF THE LOON
by Arleen M. Kaptur
Did you ever have the privilege of listening to the call of a loon? It is a totally different call than any of the other waterfowl. The word "haunting" is the best word for the sound that these beautiful creatures make.
The cry of the loon penetrates the forestland and gives anyone in the vicinity an unforgettable memory in their sub-conscious mind that will surface on a quiet evening, when all of nature stands still. It becomes alive in the lull just before a thunderstorm and in the middle of a starlit night.
The loons return to my small cabin on the lake each and every year. Sometimes one arrives first, and then a few more come to keep him/her company. Their particular sound soothes my mind and allows me the inner vision to take the time to think about all those things I have set aside in the day-to-day activities we all have.
Even watching a loon bob along the small waves that the wind churns up, in the frosty air of a cool, misty morning, and in the dead stillness of night, gives you food for thought. They are unhurried, relaxed, and totally content with their surroundings and their lifestyle. They do not hurry, are not easily roused, and return to the place they raised their family year after year.
As people, we seem to ignore much of nature. Nature, however, has so much to teach us, to show us, and to let us discover on our own. The seasons of the year transform and replace. But the continuity goes on without any disruption. The animals seem to accept whatever Mother Nature decides to do and they deal with it as best they can using all the resources available to them.
Why not man? When we go through the various stages of life, many of us want to fight the change, we want everything to remain the way it is. We do not prepare for the next plateau nor do a lot of us welcome it. Life is going to pass with each day and no one has discovered a way to stop it. Our childhood turns into adulthood without our permission. We go through the motions of everyday life, without realizing that with each 24-hour period, we are closer to the next step. Why not welcome it, open our arms and embrace it? We did whatever we could with this part, now let's turn the page and begin that next chapter. Change is not always easy, and any disruption such as divorce or even death can add to the confusion and the uncertainty. Look at these major upsets as an opportunity to prove to yourself that you can make it and handle whatever life throws your way.
If we embrace the inevitable, we take control. If we fight it, we lose. No matter how much we whine, cry, or lament, our marriage will not go back to the honeymoon, and our loved one will not return. Why not take the punch out of tragedy by looking at it squarely in the eye and making the statement that this is our life, and while we don't call all the shots, we can and we will prevail.
As children, someone else is the buffer between us and reality. They are there to explain, correct and to pick up the pieces. As teenagers, our need for someone else to be there changes and we take on more responsibility. We become accountable for our actions and we suffer the consequences or bask in the glory. Then comes adulthood - the time when we are totally in control or should be and we buffer others from what life sends.
Upon our golden years, we have been there and have done all that is required to reach this pivotal point. We were protected, we did the protecting, and now we stand ready to step into that part of our life that gives us an opportunity to remember our past, live in our present, and plan for our future.
Wherever we are in life's seasons, we should welcome it and learn all we can. We should brush ourselves off and look toward the sky. If we just lie there, someone will have to walk over us, around us, or push us aside. They are on their journey in life, and we are in the way. When we hit the ground because of some unfortunate happenings, remember the old adage - God made dirt, so dirt don't hurt. Take a moment to feel your emotions, take account of your feelings, and look in the past for clues, and in the future for remedies.
Let's all take a lesson from nature. If you can't fight it, or change it, conquer it the best way you can. Stand tall and walk into the sunshine. The winds of change will chase away the clouds and the sun will shine. We can be ready for that next season, that next storm, that next happening in life. We are who we are, and therefore, we are the best at being us. No one can ever even attempt to be who we are, let alone live our life.
When you have the chance or opportunity, listen to a loon - you will carry that sound with you forever.
©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002
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