I love nature.
Suffice it to say, I'm a nature fanatic.
I love the flora and fauna.
Being in nature is the highest form of meditation for me.
I'm the most at peace and the most at one with everything when I'm in nature.
I adore the ocean.
I am transfixed by mountains.
The smell of herbs, flowers, and grasses?
It seems that I have a way with animals and kids.
Since I was very young I've been around animals of all kinds, both domesticated and wild.
When I travel I do my best to visit animal sanctuaries and schools. I make room in my suitcase for some supplies for struggling youth and students and for animal rescue and rehabilitation centers.
On our next trip to Costa Rica we are making a contribution through a program called "Pack for a Purpose".
If you ever go to CR and want to help, here's the link: www.packforapurpose.org/destinations/central-america/costa-rica/
You actually can help schools throughout the world through this program.
I have a way of communicating with animals and children that seems to work.
I can just BE with them, doing my best to "get them" without putting too much effort into it or without forcing it.
I've walked into dog parks with our dog and been surrounded by every dog in the park. The owners wonder if I smell like treats OR have treats with me. They jump around me and play as if I'm an old pal.
It's pretty uncanny AND it took no getting used to. It seems I was made for it.
On my lanai geckos and lizards will let me stroke their bellies without fear. I think it's their way of thanking me for the limitless bugs they find in the crevasses of the lanai.
Children will walk up to me and just start talking.
It happened to me at a doctor's office recently.
A little girl of about two and a half years old made a bee-line for me once I sat down, and said, without taking a breath:
"Hi. What's your name? Why are you here? Are you sick? You have nice hair. Do you like my dress? Is that your dog? I have a dog."
At that moment I saw her family looking slightly distressed.
I told them:
"This happens to me all the time. AND, yes, I understand "stranger danger". I may be a stranger but there is no danger here. And, no, she's not bothering me."
I turned to her and answered all of her questions.
"Hi, I'm Ms. KaZ. I'm here with my husband. No, I'm not sick and neither is he. Thank you, I like your hair, too. I DO like your dress. Yes, that is our dog (my husband has a service dog). What kind of dog do you have?"
I answered her questions in rapid-fire succession and she got it! She took it all in.
Kids are remarkable.
AND so are animals, plants, flowers, trees, bugs, birds - you get the point.
What we can hear, see, feel and learn from them is mind-boggling.
I'm taken aback by what they hear, see, feel and learn from us. You might be VERY surprised.
If animals interest you at all I recommend that you pick up a copy of the magazine: The Ultimate Guide to The Animal Mind from Centennial Media published by Ben Harris and Sebastian Raatz. If you have any interest in animals it's eye-opening.
From flowers to frogs, egrets to echinacea, belugas to birch trees...
THAT'S exactly what I'm going to talk about right HERE!
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again soon.