There’s a lake by my house, not the one I walked to yesterday, but a lake in a much bigger park a short drive away. Travis and I like to go there when it’s not sweltering hot. When I remember, I like to feed the turtles. Not the ducks. Surprisingly, I’ve never really seen ducks there.
Well, last time we were there, I was feeding the turtles, having the time of my life making sure each turtle had a shot at a piece of food. I was totally immersed in feeding a couple of turtles to me left, that I didn’t notice the one-eyed, 3-legged, modern dinosaur until it was right under the dock. It just swam up, gracefully, and dominantly. I think that’s the thing with grace, it’s like a quiet power, a calm power that commands respect. That’s what Chubz was, grace.
See, we had heard about the alligator, and Travis had even seen it once when I wasn’t with him, but I had never seen an alligator in person without being at a zoo or some kind of caged area.
I did hold a baby gator at some nature preserve, and it’s mouth was taped. I don’t really agree with that now, and I can’t take back what’s happened. Though, the monkeys on that preserve had all been subjects of animal testing and they were given another chance at life instead of euthanization.
But this was the first time I saw a gator and it was free to do it’s thang. I didn’t read the sign that said don’t feed them, and I still had a few pieces of bread left, but after a few throws, I realized I needed to aim for the side of his head that still had an eye, because he couldn’t see one side of his mouth. I will tell you one thing, though, those turtles chilled super close until that mouth opened to go grab a piece of food. Then they scrammed. They didn’t totally leave but they knew about the force that jaw can have.
I don’t really know why I wanted to write about this beautiful gator, or the moment I experienced it, aside from maybe the admiration and love I felt for it. Here’s this big, powerful creature and it’s just chillin. I was extremely grateful to see him. I even called over a couple people to come look. They weren’t as excited as I was. I will forever keep that kind of wonder and excitement, and I will nurture and foster the growth of curiosity in our children. Youth is a mindset, and if you find the joy and beauty in every day things, and let it in how wonderful it is that you get to experience it, the only lines you’ll ever have in your face are smile lines.
That. That is what I wrote this for. I love you all, every single one of you, and I hope you have noticed your beauty today.