At first, the roadrunner with a busted foot scampered away from me. But as it got used to me, it stopped and seemed to pose. I saw it and thought it strange that a roadrunner would be hanging around in a movie theater parking lot. But as it first tried to get away from me, I noticed that its foot was curled up and non-functional.
For a predator that makes its living chasing things, a broken foot poses quite a challenge. While it was still able to move quickly, it was obvious that this creature was sorely limited in its gait. It ran away from me, but I had no real trouble keeping it within photo’s reach.
But then, as it settled into a comfort level with me and my camera, it showed me why it was in the parking lot. Somewhere along its way, it found that people leave popcorn on the ground. The roadrunner found some and gulped it down. It may have been limited but it somehow managed to adapt and find a food source that didn’t require a lot of harsh or quick movement. While it still had to avoid cars (and hairy dudes with cameras), it found a place that supplied food.
“It’s pretty cool that it figured out that there’s popcorn here, huh?” my wife asked me. And I agreed with her that this was one pretty cool roadrunner. But I couldn’t help but think about consciousness and how humans tend to keep their own consciousness limited to its current content. We maintain awareness of the needs of our day-to-day lives and don’t really seek out avenues through which our own consciousness can expand. We limit ourselves and then, when we are faced with challenges or threats to our lives, we end up in crisis states not knowing where to turn to find stability.
Or we hope and pray that God sends a miracle to fix what’s been broken. Or we turn to substances that can numb our emotional response to what’s broken. But whatever we do, we don’t see that there are opportunities every day that can show us that we are surrounded by beauty and love. I saw that roadrunner and was amazed at its need to survive. There was hope in its actions: If a roadrunner that couldn’t run could find a way to live, why the hell can’t we? We have far more capabilities than a cuckoo, yet when challenged, we fold into a single point of fear.
The hell with that. I’d rather find a way to bust through challenges than recede into a singular and hopeless point. I can only pray that we all realize that we have all we need to live through our own life’s challenges. Like the roadrunner, we can adapt even if we aren’t at full strength.