Fear of the Unknown

I’m at my son’s football game late last week.  It’s the 4th quarter and dusk, looks like we’re going to win.  Suddenly a large (3 or maybe 4″ long) flying something lands on my left forearm.  The mom friends either side of me freeze and/or squeal and want it to go away, but being the lover of creatures big and small that I am, I know a little about critters and I say wait, it’s fine, this gentle giant is a moth, it doesn’t even have a mouth to bite me with.

We sit for several moments, someone takes a picture, and then I encourage the moth to climb up on my right forefinger and I raise it up.  Its wings go to the upright position, and as it gathers momentum I can see the yellow spots on its abdomen.  Then it takes off, leaving a trail of frightened shrieks and squeals as it swoops low over the bleachers.

Here’s the picture that was taken – it’s blurry so you can’t see the detail, but you can see the size.  Yikes, right!?

moth 250px-Manduca_quinquemaculata_adult_female

I’m pretty sure it was a Five-spotted Hawk Moth – so I’ve added a picture of one of those in its full glory, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Driving happily home from the game I thought, hmmm, I feel a little life metaphor coming on: just how fear of the unknown can block so much enjoyment and appreciation of the truth.

Be brave on your journeys, my friends, things are so often not what we think they are.



Go West High Warriors!

The arrival of September begins a period of intense enjoyment for me.  Mostly related to my son’s participation in high school football.  I note in myself several layers, all shifting and adjusting during this period.  Having football first in line in my focus, means other priorities shuffle back a step.  What I’ve realized this does not do is lessen their importance, instead it lessens the pressure, anxiety, stress, I feel about them.  That’s a really good thing and something I’d like to maintain all year if I could, and I’ll be working on it.  However, for now I stand up and say, Hi, my name is Gillian and I’m an adrenaline junkie.  And oh boy, that rush I feel watching from the high school bleachers!

‘[Wikipedia] “Adrenaline junkie” is a term used to describe somebody who appears to be addicted to epinephrine (endogenous) and are sometimes described as getting “high” off of life. The term adrenaline junkie was popularly used in the 1991 movie Point Break for people who enjoy dangerous activities (such as extreme sports) for the adrenaline rush. Adrenaline junkies appear to favor stressful activities for the release of epinephrine as a stress response. Whether or not the positive response is caused specifically by epinephrine is difficult to determine, as endorphins are also released during the fight-or-flight response.’ Whether it’s the epinephrine or the endorphins that do it for me, I really don’t know.  I just know I definitely get high on life whatever I’m doing.

My daredevil days are long-gone (I’m a little too responsible and a lot too old now), but I still push myself, test my limitations, rise to challenges.  That must be part of my warrior DNA.  And speaking of warriors: Go West High Warriors!

Anyway, September of course heralds the Fall – Autumn, as I knew it back home in England. Having lived in California for almost 30 years, I’m used to the fact that the Fall isn’t really much to speak of in foliage terms.  Yet there are trees that turn and leaves that drop, rustling onto the sidewalks, and the neighborhood hues change.  The morning mist begins to smell different.  It makes me think of my home, my family all there, and I draw comfort from that reminiscence.  I may be far away, but I never forget.

Happy Birthday Clare, I love you… and Go West High Warriors! (I know, I said that already).