Saturday, September 02, 2006

Who needs fame!

I can’t say that I’ve ever had a relationship with a camel, or a dingo for that matter, but I just happen to have been watching television whilst I had lunch and saw an excellent programme on both animals.

I do remember my first encounter with a dingo when I was in Australia: there was an unearthly howl that sent shivers up and down my spine, which one of my companions told me had come from the throat of a dingo. Well, I was glad it wasn’t a dark night with just the dingo and me out in the outback. I’d have been imagining all the “ghoulies and ghosties and four-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night”!

The next encounter with a dingo was in a wildlife sanctuary, when I accidentally bumped into the wire netting surrounding the dingo enclosure. That was when I saw the force and the speed of the animal’s reaction as it growled and hurled itself in my direction. Thankfully, the netting stayed intact!

It was whilst I was watching the camels and dingoes on television today that I, for some unknown reason, remembered Mr. Yarwood, an elderly man long since dead. He had the most beautiful Border Collie I’ve ever seen, but could he talk! I was in my very early teens when I first met him, and it wasn’t always easy to be polite and listen to all he had to say. Still, I do remember being told about the axolotyl, a creature which sounded like a cross between a lizard and a fish. According to Mr. Yarwood, there was very little that he himself had not accomplished in life, but the axolotyl was the summit of all that he had done: he just happened to have been passing his fish tank when he noticed his axolotyls were in the process of reproducing. It seems he was the first person to see the process and write about it. In honour of this accident, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Not all of the world’s greatest discoveries are made after long years of research and vast sums of expenditure. Many of those that are most important will remain locked inside our own hearts. There’s the discovery of a new and beautiful sunrise, for instance, or of a previously unnoticed birdsong. Perhaps I’ve just realised that an acquaintance has become a friend. My discovery might be as mundane as a different flavour of ice cream. Yet these discoveries are all part and parcel of my daily life, each one contributing to make me the person I am today, each one helping to make my life worth living. I don’t need a great name to enjoy a life that is great in my own eyes and in those of the people who mean most to me.

Who needs fame!

God bless,
Sr. Janet