Friday, February 13, 2009

Unwittingly re-engineering my life?

As anyone who's talked to me (or been talked at by me) lately knows, I am fairly well a-buzz about the Biology course I'm taking. Except for some unhappiness with the lecturer, I am delighted with every aspect of the experience, with particular love for the laboratory component. What is not to love about examining predator-prey relationships with a handful of blue plastic beads and a glass bowl? Love it.

But what is occurring to me is that by signing up for this class, and devoting the hours and hours weekly to it that it requires, I think I may be, almost without meaning to, re-engineering my life.

This started for me, really, last Spring -- a year ago -- when I spent a few very happy months volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation hospital. I had to give it up as the ducklings got bigger, since there was no way I could leave my shift at 1pm, covered head to toe in duck muck, grab lunch on the fly, and head to the office. A little too smelly, and the time to run home, take a shower and change, made it ridiculous to then drive into the city. Anyway, I loved it, but had to give it up.

The time spent volunteering was dream-time. I was thoroughly happy, even when I was washing dishes or making owl food (cutting up mice with scissors) or folding endless piles of laundry -- utterly delighted to be in the company of animals, to be of assistance to them.

And I remembered: that that's what I always wanted when I was a kid, to be around animals. There was that long stretch of time with Medora, writing an endless report about cats [which proves what wonderful and weird kids we were: that we wrote a report for fun, on an animal that neither one of us could have since family allergies prevented it]; there was my fascination with the circus; there was Pancho, our dog, and Silky, my hamster; and there were dreams of being a vet.

I don't know exactly what will come of taking this Biology class. It may be enough to indulge this thirst to know more, to devote the time to acquiring this knowledge that unlocks the magic of how things work.

But I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be more than that. That this is the beginning of the un-folding of Something. And not knowing what exactly that Something is, just feeling it as a potential, makes it all the more fun. If nothing else, it is carrying out my new recipe for happiness: do more of what you love, less of what you don't. The process itself is so fulfilling that any outcome is just icing on the cake.

And who doesn't love cake?!

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