Linda’s Living Room

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. I’ve been known to have a sort of earthiness about me. I can get to the dirt of a matter rather quickly. I can be a breath of fresh air. I can be as honest as the day is long.

And each day at camp, Girl Person and I reflect on how that day went while she writes this blog for me and Digby. It seems as though earthiness has a sort of inspirational vibe to it. It seems as though just my presence is enough to make the words flow. But Linda has been helping us too.

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Every night at camp, Brickle and I sit by the lake and reflect on the day. We’ve been here for about four months now and have gotten to know many of the animal residents well. This alligator we have named Linda because she just seems like she would sing earthy and sultry like Linda Ronstadt. Every evening, Linda follows her same path in the lake. She watches the fisherman. She waits patiently for dinner as fish jump all around her. Sometimes, no one knows she is there. But Brickle and I do. We’ve come to know her nose above the water. We’ve come to notice the water ever so gently swirling around her gliding movements. She helps me write the blog. Her presence alone is calming to me. Not scary. Not frightening. We know to keep our distance. And yet tonight, Linda changed her routine and we found her under the dock. It was so hard for me not to linger and watch her. But as with anyone we respect and admire, we don’t push them. We don’t challenge. We admire and let them be who they are. So Brickle and I looked and left. Soon after, I saw her effortlessly disappear beneath the murky water and we made our way back to our campsite. Camping and traveling has certainly made me aware of the role we play in our world. It boggles my mind how we can be so afraid of an animal that is just simply living. They don’t destroy our habitats, they don’t destroy our earth. We do that. Respect. Admire. Look. Leave alone. I’ll never be the same after travel. I’ll never want to be. Thanks for the inspiration for Monday’s blog, Linda. And I’ll see you tomorrow. #2travelingdogs #alligator #loveFl

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You see, we join Linda at her place every evening.

We know that we are in her living room. But we are share one house. Our earth.

It’s actually a pretty big living room that Linda hangs out in. She has her own routine every night. She seems quite content to watch us from afar. And we are quite content to watch her. But one evening last week, Linda changed her routine a little and we got closer than we usually did when she was floating by the dock at the lake. But instead of lingering and making Linda uncomfortable, Girl Person and I decided to not overstay our welcome. It was her place. We hadn’t been invited to her party.

There was no one else around to see her. And I guess we felt kind of special. You see, on most nights, camper persons ask us if there are alligators in the water. And Girl Person likes to explain that there are three. She explains their routines in the morning and at night. And when the persons look at her in shock, she tells them to be respectful and appreciate from afar. She tells them not to knock on their door by standing on the water’s edge. Yet, it always surprises us not only how scared the camper persons are. But it surprises us the dislike they have for the alligators. I don’t know much about alligators. But I know enough. And I know that dislike for anyone, any individual, yes, even Linda the alligator is not. Nice.

There is a sense of peace that comes with acceptance of others.  There is a sense of peace when we realize that not everything is about us.  Yes, I admit it on this Monday.  Not everything is about me. But when we realize that not everything is ours on this earth, and that we are all just sharing this house, it’s easy to be respectful.  Its easy to admire and not interfere with the goings on in the house.

I know that when camper persons arrive on the weekends, that they must like nature, like to be outside, and like to be with family.  They have fun, but often, they are in a rush to have that fun.  Just like most in our world who are busy and trying to survive, they forget that it’s not about just what they want at the moment.  They forget that there were those here long before them.  They forget that you can’t expect to be respected if you don’t respect other living things. Some may ask why alligators are allowed in a lake that persons kayak in or fish by.  They have said that.  I ask, why are we allowed here?

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If you think about it, who are ruining the earth?  Who are destroying homes, habitats and the lives of animals?  Are they destroying ours?  No.  We come into their house, take over and destroy it.  So why is there so much hate for these animals just trying to live?

Why do persons disrespect them by saying they hate them, or they are bad, or that they don’t deserve to live? Don’t be that person. 

Girl Person says that if Linda the alligator could sing, she would imagine her voice to be salty and sultry and earthy like Linda Ronstadt.  And I think that we would make a pretty good duet album.  I would probably leave Digby Pancake out of the songs though.  His howling might upset Linda.  And no one needs that!

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But what we do need is for this earth to be here a long, long time.  With all of us living in harmony.

Camping and traveling full-time has taught us many things.  And if we stopped doing this today, we would still never look at life the same.  Just yesterday, a lizard licked water out of Girl Person’s hand.  We watched the birds eating seeds and peanuts at our campsite.  Yes, I share.  Sometimes.  And despite all the trials and tribulations that come with not having a permanent spot to call home, it is worth it.  It is worth every animal we meet and get to know.  It is worth when we have to leave them and say goodbye.

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So instead of being afraid of Linda, why not love her for who she is from afar? I heard she in an introvert of sorts like me.  And I respect that she respects me when I don’t come inside her living room.

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If we all take care of our house, it will be here a long time.  Even forever.

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Just like everyone we meet, Linda has taught us something.  If we live in fear, are we living at all?  If we let fear blind us to beauty and what could be, that’s harmful to everyone.  So don’t be afraid.  Love yourself, accept others and live in peace. We all deserve to be here.  All of us. Keep on singing Linda.  And I’ll see you tomorrow.

Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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