Monday, March 30

Promising Yellow: Walk Talk and Live with the Animals!

Lately I've been a little obsessed with all things Attenborough. Netflix has a bunch of nature documentaries narrated by the lovely David Attenborough and his iconic breathy voice. Africa, Planet Earth, Life of Mammals etc. Full of beautiful shots, amazing stories and the ups and downs of our world in all it's glorious and brutal nature. But the amount of comfort and joy I get from watching a Lion or Meerkat simply go about its day-to-day business got me wondering about why?

My venue of choice for nature documentaries is the plains of the Kalahari; lions, meerkats, elephants, giraffes, antelope and all those other weird and wonderful creatures with strange names that I can never remember!! Today's technology allows for more stunning shots than ever and I love sweeping vistas of the plains at sunset when the big cats are lying around and unusual-shaped trees are silhouetted against the hugest orange sun I could imagine. It's almost like I'm just hanging out with the lions, watching their world fall asleep.

Back when I was younger watching these programmes my parents and I would make-up funny inner monologues of the animals, comparing monkeys to people we knew, giggling at the weird things the creatures did and cheering on a little deer-like creature or bunny when it got away from the predator. There's just something about these beautiful animals that is so separate from our world but so similar to us; they reflect human behaviour and to see that in the hands of an otter or a bird is so funny and at once I feel connected to their stories and little personalities.

Completely honest and unapologetic, the animals keep doing what they've always done. A wildebeest is killed by a lioness, the lions eat him, the herd carries on munching grass, it seems so apathetic and yet it's nature! Their worries are basic; find food, find water, don't get eaten, find someone to mate with, defend babies from attackers.

By contrast our own worries are, well; my tummy is wobbly, get a job that sounds impressive, my eyeshadow keeps creasing, petrol is expensive, which wine did I like? Shall I put 2 kisses on this text or no kisses at all! Oh no, I've run out of retinol cream?! My car is dirty, I should to take extract of spirulina, I look awful in that photo, 5 days with just a carry-on? Did I wear this outfit last time? I hate this phone, I neeeeeed to buy that album!!

Then of course there's work, university, school, college. . . . .

I suppose when our basic needs are met (shelter, nutrition, safety, social contact) smaller, less important things become our problems. Over Christmas my main concern was "Oh no! I'm too busy, when will I have time to sit around for a day watching Christmas films and eating Christmas chocolates??!!?!?!?!". Pleeeease, little Alan the Zebra is just hoping he won't get eaten today!

 It's natural to worry about things, whether it's something real like our health, loneliness, money troubles or something trivial like whether the barista used skimmed milk or semi-skimmed. We're not wrong for worrying about the things that we do but watching the animals reminds me that a lot of the things I think about on an hourly basis are just not that important in the grand scheme of things. A lot of them are quite stupid!

The clouds will keep floating along, the birds will keep flitting around looking for food, the grass keeps growing, otters keep swimming, lions keep sleeping, monkeys keep scratching. . . . life goes on,with or without me - my worries are not the end of the world. 

 I can flick on a nature documentary and become part of the animal's world and realise that all the things they have to worry about I don't. So my life is pretty darn easy really, when you look at the big picture!

They really are beautiful documentaries and I always learn something new whether it's something good old Dave tells me or something I get from simply watching.

Ciao for now

How ace would it be if that were your job? David Attenborough is so damn lucky!!

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