Sweetie and I took ourselves on a mini-vacation last week. Neither of us had been to the west coast of Florida so it seemed like a good place to visit. The Sportsman's Lodge, in Eastpoint, FL was our destination. When you make reservations in a place with Lodge in the name, you probably shouldn't expect too much. In business for over 40 years, the rooms were, shall we say, rustic. Our room looked out on the Apalachicola River. A stunning view. Perfect for watching sea birds, purple martins, peacock mating rituals, people cleaning fish and the most beautiful sunsets you can imagine.
We settled into our home away from home with relaxation as our only goal. The mattresses groaned when we sat on the bed. Neither the groaning sound or that of the window air conditioner interfered with our unscheduled afternoon naps.
The sounds emanating from the Lodge's peafowl were a bit harder to ignore. Something between a bull horn and an alley cat's drawn out meows, God must have spent all Her time creating beautiful iridescent feathers instead of a sexy melodic song. I was treated to some National Geographic entertainment when I went outside every morning to write and soak up Mother Nature's gifts. Peahens wandered around pecking at the ground like most birds left up to their own devices. Mr. Peacock, as I affectionately named him, did a lot more showing off. I thought at first the display of fanned feathers, shimming and tail shaking was aimed at the Mrs. Peacock. I soon realized that searching the grass for something to eat proffered much more appeal.
"Look at this," cried Mr. Peacock waving his feathers in a back and forth dance move.
I imagined the less than interested Mrs. Peacock saying something like, "Honestly, Harold, stop making a fool of yourself."
Not to be thwarted in his romantic efforts, Harold turned his attention to me. He waved his spectacular fan at me. He turned to show me how his puffed up tail feathers. He hopped. He crowed. He jumped up on the fence so I'd have a better view. It's been a long time since I was courted with as much gusto. Alas, like Mrs. Peacock, when I failed to answer the call of the wild, Mr. Peacock walked off in search of another opportunity to wow a lady.
I decided there is a lot to learn from a peacock.
1. Be yourself even when no one else is looking.
2. Make your own path. Don't follow where others may go.
3. Don't give up. If at first you don't succeed, shimmy, shimmy again.
4. Take a risk. (There were times Mrs. Peacock stepped close enough to the dance floor to be confused as a willing partner. To Mr. Peacock's dismay, she knew the tastiest grass grew right under his feet.)
5. Dance to your own music.
6. When all else fails, take a nap.
Sweetie wants to go back to "the forgotten coast" sometime soon. Next time we'll stay in a less rustic place and take a fishing pole. It's hard to watch other people cleaning the fish you wish you had caught.