The Racoon

Looks Part Fox, Part Cat.

Another sleepless night for me, sprinkled with forgettable dreams made up of the flotsam and jetsam of up the subconscious. Nothing meaningful. Just fill. I got up at 5 am to feed the kitty and began the day. Coffee in hand, I went back to bed to rest in the upright position. But no. This is a rule of personal etiquette. You can’t go back to bed again.

This was an opportunity to finish my spring clearing out of the pantry. If I waited, my slug mind would find a way to postpone again. So I was up and back in the kitchen before any internal argument could be made against it. Besides, a friend on food stamps might be happy to have what I’ll never get around to before the expiration dates.

By 6:30 am I had it done. A trash can full of unusable food and four bags full of canned, frozen and dehydrated food that I’d never use before it was past its prime. What can I say? I take food seriously. I took the trash out. delivered the food to a grateful recipient and went out for a morning walk.

Fifteen minutes in I came to a main road. There was lots of traffic. Thanks to a recently retired school superintendent who figured out how to bring non-local students to Wimberley schools there are multiple times the students here as there are resident families. But don’t get me started. This goes back to my post Hollywood reporter days in 2011 when I first got here. It’s all about the money.

The ex-super did some good things to enhance student learning but he almost single-handedly destroyed the village as a sleepy country town forever in his quest for expansion. I stood there on the crossroad as shiny car after car went whizzing by. That’s when I saw him. A Racoon reeling on the road. He’d apparently been nicked by a fast car. He was stunned but still able to walk. A tear ran down my cheek.

Before I know it I’m standing in the road, holding up my hands in both directions, defending this wild one’s life. Cars stop in both directions. After it seems safe, I pick the staggering raccoon up and carry him to safety, a 100 yards away. His rib cage is intact. There’s no blood. I set him down in the grass. He climbs back into my lap. More tears.

The raccoon seems okay just stunned, but what of internal injury? My favorite crisp white tunic is already smeared in greasy mud. A cloudburst threatens to drench us at any moment. He’s scared but so am I. What if he bites me or has some terrible virus. I sit him back on the grass and watch as he finds shelter under a parked fifth wheel.

I flag the local constable who happens by just then and ask him to call Animal Control. They’ll likely euthanize him but he won’t survive long alone. I walk home rather reluctantly and continue with tasks and plans. Maybe I’m too tender hearted but I regret not cuddling the raccoon longer, waiting around in spite of the rain (which never came).

This incident has been with me all day. This afternoon my kitty, a domestic cousin of the wild raccoon, rests safely and securely in my lap. Life is precious and fragile. Is there anything more important than love? Can any of us slow down long enough to honor a life that seems meaningless and may not look like our own? Yes but we might have to open our eyes to a much bigger picture. Maybe, where I think I’m going with this is that the road and what happens along the way is the point.

But I was still left in a dispirited psychological fog with the-journey-is-the-point motif. I know I must change my focus. As Peter Diamandis, M.D. states in chapter 23 of Life Force, “…perhaps one of the most important things one can do is adopt a longevity mindset. A mindset characterized by a more fulfilling, passionate and purposeful life.” For now I will leave you with that wider, more hopeful thought.

Tune in tomorrow for the next review segment of Life Force by Tony Robbins, Peter Diamandis, M.D. and Robert Harriri, M.D., P.h.D., which is all about discoveries and breakthroughs in health and longevity.

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