Saturday, October 6, 2012

Lesson from the Wetlands

We went walking in the wetlands at Tinchi Tamba this morning. Pete mentioned that we might even see a kangaroo, and, about two minutes later, I grabbed his arm and pointed – ‘Look!’

She was standing among the trees, just a few meters away from us – a large grey female with the bulge of a Joey in her pouch. She stayed quite still, watching us, and providing a great opportunity for Pete to take some photos.

As we watched the Joey stuck his head out and even leaned down to nibble on some grass on the ground. It occurred to me that this arrangement – the mother carrying the baby in a pouch – was probably not very comfortable for her.

Think about it for a moment. A kangaroo is all legs and tail, sharp bony joints and long claws. I’ve seen a Joey dive into the mother’s pouch when he feels threatened – head first, wiggling around until he manages to turn right-side up. I’m sure anyone who has been a parent will know that very young children have no concept of being gentle to avoid hurting someone. They flail around with little elbows, knees and fists and often leave Mum and Dad with bruises. I can’t imagine a baby kangaroo would be much different.

No, I really don’t think motherhood for a kangaroo would be a very comfortable experience at all. But that’s just the way it is for them. They don’t know any different. They really don’t have options to make things easier or more comfortable. They just continue to do what nature has programmed them to do.

I often think our lives are made super complicated by the fact that we do have options. We are constantly presented with a barrage of advertising which tells us that, provided we can afford it, there is an option to deal with most of the uncomfortable things in our lives.

There are pills and potions and surgeries, gizmos and gadgets. There are bookshelves bulging with self-help books. There are special clinics, and self-proclaimed gurus of amazing new techniques guaranteed to help us discover strengths and powers within ourselves that we never knew we had.

 In fact I think we have gotten to a point where we seem to believe there must be something seriously wrong with us if we can’t find a way to banish any of the discomforts and inconveniences in life. We have almost lost the ability to simply grin and bear it – to accept that sometimes life WILL be uncomfortable and inconvenient. That’s just the way it is. 

© Lyn Murphy 2012