I watch as my cat settles into stealth mode. She’s eyed a bird who’s blissfully pecking at something in the soil, unaware of the lurking danger. Rosie, our cat, is also unaware of the latched screen door that will prevent her from an attacking leap.
I sit at my laptop crunching away at my salad, the sight of Rose and the bird makes me wonder how many present dangers have we been unaware of. How many close calls, near misses, have passed us by without our knowledge.
I read not so long ago that Eurydice Dixon’s killer followed her through the streets of Melbourne for a good hour before raping and murdering her. He kept his distance, she always within his sights. It was reported that she had no idea he was watching and following her. My skin crawled in fear as the horror of that knowledge sunk in. My mind raced, panicked. Had someone ever followed me? Then, fear overwhelmed me as I thought of potential dangers to my children: how many cars have nearly knocked over my children as they cross roads to school? I struggled to rein in my paranoia. It was as if I was on a slippery-slide of negativity. After a few deep breaths and a feel-good movie, I was back to normal.
But now, as I watch the bird and our cat, I think it’s probably a good thing we’re mostly unaware of potential horrors and dangers. It’s not pleasant way to live our lives, constantly fearing what might happen. The worry would sap us of strength, drain us of any morsel of happiness.
Like the bird, we should cheerfully peck away throughout our lives. Hopefully there’ll be a latched screen door to prevent us of harm and we won’t even know how close it came.