Life Interrupted

It was a beautiful, clear, crisp November morning. The sun has made its way up in the low horizon. I was scurrying my way to work and just pulled out of my driveway. My car clock said only eight more minutes till eight o’clock, which is the time that my first patient in our clinic was scheduled to be seen that day. But nothing to worry. I would make it on time. Even though my office is 8 miles away from my home, it only take me 10 minutes or less to drive there, as there was no real traffic to talk about.

I was speeding down the lonely but scenic, winding country road from my home to the interstate highway when a deer out of the woods bolted into the road in front of my car to cross to the other side. I had to slam on my brakes hard so not to hit the deer. By the way, this is the stretch of the road that I see a lot of roadkill. Good thing there was no car behind me, nor in-coming vehicle on the other lane, otherwise it could have caused an accident.

But what followed the jumpy deer was six (yes, six!) more anxiously looking deer that dashed across the road a few feet in front of my car. They must be traveling in herds. I had to come to a complete stop to let them all cross to the other side. Now I would be late. Darn deer!

We don’t like being interrupted. Whether it is somebody rudely butting in when we’re speaking, or someone disturbing us when we are quietly meditating, or somebody ruining our set schedule or plans, or deer jumping in front of our way, hindering us.

But was it me that was interrupted by the deer, or was I the one who interrupted the deer’s peaceful existence. By the way, it is mating season for them and they are constantly on the move. (November has the highest incidence for deer-related vehicular accidents, and Iowa is rank #2 among states in the US with the highest car insurance claims relating with deer collisions). Or maybe those deer are running away from someone, as they looked scared, for it is also the peak of hunting season.

As I continued my drive to work, after being unceremoniously stopped by deer, I saw a flock of geese in flight, maybe 10 or more of them, in their beautiful V-formation. Perhaps they were flying south for the winter, as the air had really gone cold here in our area. The harsh winter is coming, so they are fleeing to a much warmer place. But they will be coming back here in spring. That is the cycle of life.

geese in V-formation

As I marvel their majestic flight, the geese suddenly broke out of their orderly V-formation. There was chaotic flapping and confusion that followed. Then I saw one of the geese spiraled downward to the ground.

It took me a moment to realized what I had witnessed. I surmised that a hunter somewhere nearby, perhaps hiding in the fields, had shot the goose and hit it. I am not a hunter, and have no desire to be one, and so my heart goes out to that poor bird who was taken down abruptly out of its flight of passage.

I want to slow down and find out further what happened to the flock of geese, but I was approaching the interstate highway, and besides I was already running late. My view of being interrupted have completely changed in the past few minutes. I cannot shake the sight of that hapless bird plummeting down to its death. Talk about life being interrupted ….. permanently. And I complain just because I was delayed for a few seconds?

I was in deep thought when I was again interrupted when a big semi truck pulled close behind and overtook me on the interstate highway. I then became aware that I was driving slower than the speed limit. That has never happened before.

(*photo from here)

To hunt or not to hunt

Growing up in Manila, I was not exposed to hunting until we moved here in Iowa. Hunting is not a part of the culture I grew up with.

I was surprised how big hunting is in this part of the world. There are big stores solely dedicated in hunting equipments and everything about hunting. There is even a full TV channel, just showing all forms of hunting as sports. I guess hunting dates back to our prehistoric existence and is so primal to the survival of our specie.


who’s the hunter and who’s the game?

Few years ago, after we settled here in Iowa, someone invited me to go deer hunting. I hesitated. I don’t know how to shoot a gun, and definitely, I have no skill in using a bow and arrow (during archery deer seasons, guns are not allowed for hunting, only bows and arrows).

I was afraid, I will shoot anything that moves and end up shooting one of my hunting partners. I think it’s too dangerous for me, besides the thrill of shooting a deer is not for me anyway. I just don’t have the heart to kill Bambi. Maybe my wife will, when those annoying deers eat her tulips and roses.

Then somebody suggested I go mushroom-hunting. Mushroom hunting??? Now, that’s new to me. Here in Iowa, hunting for morel mushroom is such a big thing.

When they say ‘hunting’, I imagine chasing something. So I asked, are these fungus walking, or do they sprout so rapidly and gone the next minute?

I was disappointed when I learned that they are just like ordinary mushrooms, and are not moving at all. So what’s the thrill in that? What skill do I need to hunt those mushrooms down?

morel mushrooms

First of all, they told me that I need discernment of what a morel mushroom is, as well as the skill of where to find them.

And the thrill?

I guess the thrill is gathering and eating the wrong type of mushroom and you end up poisoning yourself. We know that there are toxic and hallucinogenic mushrooms. That sure will bring an adrenaline rush! That’s too dangerous for me also, so I did not go mushroom-hunting too.

Maybe someday I will gather enough courage to try hunting (too chicken?), but for now, the only game that I will devour tonight will be coming from the meat and produce section of our grocery store.

(*photos from the web)