Have you ever seen an ambivalent eagle? Iím sure you know the type of
eagle Iím referring to. The ambivalent eagle has a hard time making up his
mind about everything. His mind is full of questions without any answers.
Shall I perch on this branch or would that one over there be better?
Maybe I shouldnít sit on a branch at all. Perhaps I should be flying. But
Iím not sure I want to fly right now. Maybe I should start building a new
nest since my present one is so old. But if I work on my nest, then I wonít
have enough time to preen my feathers to attract eagles of the opposite sex.
But if I attract female eagles, it wonít be long before I have to provide
for baby eagles which would take even more of my limited time. I wonder what
I should have for lunch today? A tasty trout might be good, but maybe a fat
river rat would be even better, or perhaps a wild rabbit would hit the spot.
Should I fly south for the winter? Maybe I should stick around here so I
donít have to do so much flying. Itís really quite a hassle to have to adapt
to a whole new habitat south of the border. I know what Iíll do. Iíll just
sit on this branch and do nothing.
Eagles are lucky because they donít have problems with ambivalence. When
itís time to perch, they perch. When itís time to fly, they fly. When itís
time to eat, they eat. When itís time to build a nest, they build one.
Can you imagine what the wilderness would be like if there were thousands
of neurotic eagles sitting around in the forest overwhelmed by inertia doing
nothing? If that happened, they would become just like us when we sit around
doing nothing except complaining about our lives and being overwhelmed by
I have decided to fly like an eagle and say good-bye to ambivalence in my
BIRD PSYCHIATRISTS NEED NOT APPLY
As I was sailing up the Red Sea, I had the privilege of getting up close
and personal with birds of prey. When I watched them in action, I was
impressed that God had created such awesome creatures so perfectly adapted
to the land, sea, and sky.
Not even once did I see any of these birds talking to a Bird Psychiatrist
who reminded them to reach for their dreams, to live without ambivalence,
and to maintain their focus. God in his wisdom programmed birds of prey with
instincts that prevent such complications.
I am a lot different than birds of prey. I must continually remind myself
to reach for my dreams in order to keep them alive. I frequently struggle
with ambivalence as I wonder whether itís worth all the hard work to make my
dreams come true. My mental focus wanders here and there and everywhere, and
on everything except my dreams. Thatís the way things work for me because I
am human. Thatís also why I like to watch birds of prey in action. The
remind me to maintain my focus, to eliminate my ambivalence, and to always
reach for my dreams.
Please excuse me. I have to go now. Iím going outside to take flying
P.S. The birds in these pictures are osprey that live on the deserted
islands of the western Red Sea off the coasts of Eritrea and Sudan. When you
sail up the Red Sea you can anchor at these islands and watch the osprey in
STUPID - STUPID - STUPID - STUPID - STUPID
Once upon a time there was a beautiful island in the Red Sea. It was an
enchanted refuge where ospreys soared in the sky, sea turtles laid their
eggs on the beach, and stupid people put land mines in the ground.
We didnít know about the land mines, and so we spent a wonderful day
exploring the island. There were large osprey nests about four feet in
diameter and five feet tall in the middle of the island and on the islandís
eastern corner. The nests were situated on small hills which made it
possible for the osprey to survey their domain while perched on their nest.
The osprey were efficient hunters as evidenced by the many skeletons of
small birds and fish scattered over the island, but mostly around their
nests. I didnít see any other species of birds flitting about the island,
probably because the osprey had eaten them all. I felt sorry for any bird
that might be innocently flying by minding his own business. Their chance of
becoming osprey fodder seemed alarmingly high.
The beach at Difnein Island would rival that found at any world class
resort. Your eyes feast upon a smorgasbord of powdery white sand, clear
water, and spectacular sunsets. And when you walk up the eastern side of the
beach, you can see the flipper marks in the sand where the sea turtles have
made their way to the top of the beach to lay their clutch of eggs.
Difnein Island has it all - and that includes LAND MINES.
Not more than fifty feet from the sandy shore, I found an unmarked grave
typical for this region of the world. The stacked stones reveal the grave
belonged to an adult size person. At the time, I thought it strange to find
a solitary grave so close to the beach. Although unmarked graves are common,
they are usually found in a graveyard full of other unmarked graves. The
single grave probably should have tipped me off something bad had happened
to this island, and that bad thing was land mines.
So why would anyone want to place land mines in paradise. It seems there
once was a war of independence in which Eritrea no longer wanted to be a
part of Ethiopia. When you fight a war, you have to put lots of land mines
all over the place. Why not go out to a deserted island in the Red Sea and
place a bunch of land mines there? Obviously, some genius decided it was a
good idea, and went ahead and did it. Unfortunately, the genius who placed
the land mines didnít bother to remove them when the war was over. They
would have been hard to remove anyway, because you hide land mines so people
canít see them until they step on them and get blown to smithereens. Why do
the words ďWar CrimesĒ keep popping up in my mind? Maybe Iím simple-minded,
but it seems to me if you put land mines somewhere during a war, and you
donít remove them when the war is over, you have committed a war crime
against humanity. Period.
Fools walk in where angels fear to tread. Our angels must have been
working overtime that day because we walked through the mine field without
getting blown up. When we got back to our yacht, someone came up on the
radio and informed us that the eastern half of the island was full of land
mines. They had a cruising guide that showed the general location of the
land mines, and it advised sailors to not set foot on Difnein Island. We
went over to the yacht and looked at the book. Sure enough, there was a
drawing of the minefield. Hmm. I wonder why nobody put a fence around the
high risk areas or posted signs to stay off the island because of the hidden
menace beneath the soil. In poor countries like Eritrea, they probably donít
have enough money to build fences and post signs, because they have to spend
their cash on wheel chairs and artificial limbs for people blown up by land
Difnein Island is a special place. Itís perfect for ospreys, sea turtles,
and of course, land mines.