Pacing The Cage


A constructive start to the year came to a complete halt this week as sleet pellets covered the ground and froze together forming a layer of ice an inch or so thick, keeping me more cooped up than I prefer to be during a time I was just getting used to my creativity flowing again. As I stared out of the window wishing it was warm outside and read through the news feeds of those whose travel was hindered by icy roads, I was reminded of a zoo full of well-fed animals that I visited a few summer’s back.

Most animals were behind fences, others were kept within square cages of varying size. On one cage, a sign read that it was normal for the animal within to pace back and forth, something I have been doing multiple times on this cold day. I didn’t find pacing back and forth to be as normal as the sign implied it to be, for myself now or the bear back then. The Syrian brown bear that was trapped inside looked like I feel on this day.

When I think back, whether living in an apartment, or a house in the city, or out here where I can walk for several miles on this beautiful ranch, surrounded by fences, I guess the “what is” cage just varies in size.

As much as I enjoy the sunrises and sunsets, there are times at this age when I feel confined, even with all this planet-wide room beneath the sky to travel. Times when no matter how hard I look, there is, as the saying goes, "nothing new under the sun.” Times when I wish there was interstellar travel available in such a way that when I travelled and missed the place I now call home, I could return. 

Eventually, we all have times in our lives when we end up like that bear, pacing the cage, worrying about “what is” instead of concerning ourselves with what “could be.” I should be more thankful that I live in a place where I am not stuck with one type of weather year-round and in a mindset where the potential for what could be rules over the what is world.

I think it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said "It is always the right time to do the right thing.” Never let “what is” define your existence. Instead, always constructively work toward what "could be."