I was just admiring my garden yesterday morning while having an espresso. I was noticing the devastation that challenged me for the “Big clean up” after the adverse weather conditions we had experienced over the past 6 weeks. A blackbird caught my eye – he was busily upturning leaves, looking for breakfast.
“Ah”, I thought, “things are back to normal.” The air is calm, the garden is green, and the temperature reads a satisfying 9o. Then I remembered the behaviour of the birds over the last 3 weeks. They demonstrated odd behaviour, each breed of bird acting differently to its normal “carry on”, what I would consider “out of character”.
The blackbirds were actually tolerating each other, vying for food from the bird table. The small birds were acting like children in the snow. But most surprisingly was the visit by 3 seagulls. This amazed me, as I live 30 miles from the nearest coastline as the crow (or seagull) flies.
My point, you ask? These habitual and territorial creatures were acting completely out of character, when a difficult situation presented itself. First reaction was absolute shock! “What is going on – how can this happen to us?”
Next, denial! “It will be over in a few days, I get to have a snow day”
Then we move on to blame “Where are the snowploughs when you need them?, Where is our Minister of Transport?”, “How can we run out of water?”, “Why is my footpath not salted?”
It’s amazing how creatures of habit can then hit desperation. The internet is overwhelmed with blog posts (including this one) about the snow, the ice, the roads, etc etc.
And finally! We begin to do something. We look at the micro picture and realise we can ease the hardship on a smaller scale – we start doing things for ourselves, and the world changes!
But best of all, we stop complaining, and start passing on advice as to what worked (cinders on the ice, blow-torching the pipes, looking out for the elderly).
Have you experienced situations where people react to difficult conditions? Some disintegrate, some shine! We are creatures of habit, and take a while to warm to change.