by Rain Trueax
The subject of luck has been on my mind. The definition of luck is-- something that comes to you, good or bad, based not on your own actions. My thinking on it began because I'd been thinking I haven't had much of that sort of luck. While I have had a good life, with many wonderful things in it, they came because of what I had worked to do, the settings and people I had chosen, the things I'd given up or accepted. I've been lucky in terms of the things I have had control over. My creative work has been lucky in that sense; but in terms of marketing it-- not so much.
I know people where good things seem to fall into their laps when they've done little to seemingly deserve it. I've also known those where bad things have likewise been their seeming fate-- when they didn't do anything seemingly to deserve it.
I've benefited from the random sort of luck at the farm like the time I just happened to walk into the bedroom and look out the window toward the pasture to see the sheep running with a coyote behind them. I ran out in my sandals, didn't stop for a gun and when I got to the fence, the coyote had a lamb down against it. I screamed the mad mama scream. The coyote looked up in shock and ran away. The lamb got up-- uninjured. That was luck for the sheep and me-- the coyote not so much.
A recent example of random luck was the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack. A couple from Utah were on a trip like many take. It was pure luck that they were on the bridge at the wrong time. An unlucky mother was on her way to pick up her children. Someone else maybe had just left the area or had decided against going at that time. We sometimes call that fate, but luck is an equally good word for it.
So I haven't had the sort of luck that led me to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I also haven't won any contests or lotteries or basically much of anything.
The thing that I began to wonder about was if, as some claim, we make our own luck. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time is the kind we don't want and have done nothing to deserve. Some claim such events are God's doing. But really, we want to think that for a man to be killed and his wife critically injured,God made it happen. I just don't believe in that sort of God-- don't want to believe in it-- I do believe in random events that have no meaning beyond they happened-- luck.
We went out to Finley Wildlife Refuge to watch the geese. We hadn't been for awhile, and it felt good to be out there, with others enjoying the same thing. Then we noticed movement on the hill and realized the refuge's elk herd was moving fast across it, heading west. We watched, drove along the road and took photos.
Elk are called the ghosts of the forest because they are elusive in terms of being seen. They can move quietly for such big animals. They can be aggressive in the right situations as I know kids who said they were treed by them in the Coast Range. The bulls have been known to gore a human who got too close. Generally though, they run from danger and humans do represent danger due to hunting.
I've seen many elk herds through the years. They generally are eating, kind of loosely traveling as they feed. This herd did something I've never seen before. After they had run, they bunched into a defensive circle, which would move forward, toward the road, a cow in their lead with one following a little behind at their back. Then they would decide that wasn't safe and turn back to the north. Whatever was determining their defensive mode, it was fascinating to watch.
We saw four bulls but they were young, at least appeared to be based on their horns. Maybe the old bull had been killed in the hunting season. The refuge actually allows some hunting and maybe this herd was reacting to a past hunt-- this isn't the season. It is the season for them to have their calves soon.
So we were lucky to be there at the right time. Someone else, who might've come later, or left earlier, would have not seen the whole drama. I've had a lot of that kind of luck.