One of my favourite birds is the Flamingo. My first sight of these glorious creatures came when as a child my father got me a viewmaster – this was like a pair of binoculars with a slot on top of it made to receive a circular card which had a circumference surrounded by individual film strips. When the card was inserted and you looked through the lenses, images bright, clear and magnified could be seen in full colours.
The first image I viewed was of a flock of flamingos, covering the Lake Nakuru of Kenya in the most magnificent hues of pink I had ever seen. The picture was so alive and I felt I was part of it. At every opportunity I’ve had to go to a zoo since then, I’ve always headed straight to where the Flamingo’s were so I could enjoy watching them once again.
Did you know that these birds are born grey? Their natural colour is boring, but they get their pink, orange and sometimes blue tint from what they eat. Someone said you are what you eat, so if you are looking to be more interesting, then you need to immerse yourself in interesting experiences. That however is by the way.
What struck me the last time I saw a flock of these birds was their environment. As pretty as they looked, there was all their mess on the banks of the stream where they stood, and it had a truly poignant aroma.
It made me realise that no matter how good something looks, there is always the maintenance deficit that comes along with it. It’s a fancy car, but its servicing cost… It’s a big well decorated house, but the time taken to keep it clean…It’s a nice new well paying position, but the amount of responsibilities to fulfil…He is tall, dark and handsome, but his constant need for attention…
It’s great to fall in love with inspiring pictures of things we find desirable, but we should also never forget that there is a price associated with receiving them. Let’s hold both realities in balance so that we are not quick to throw away what we have received when its costs come to light.