‘Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree-ee
Merry merry king of the bush is he-ee
Laugh, kookaburra laugh,
Gay your life must be.’- classic Aussie song written in 1932 by Marion Sinclair
It seems kookaburra always catches me in those moments when I take life too seriously, or find my thoughts spiraling down a rabbit hole; like a clown or a wise and gentle friend, kookaburra’s call brings me back to laughter, levity, lightheartedness.
I can count on seeing at least one kookaburra every day where I live. They are amazing hunters, waiting so still and patient and then WHOOSH!, swooping down to find a worm in an entire lawn of grass, astounding accuracy, like finding a needle in a haystack!
My sister has only been to Australia once and one of the highlights for her was the sound of the kookaburras. While we were speaking on Skype recently two kookaburras landed on a tree branch just outside my window and began to ‘laugh’ deafeningly loud. I made an offhand joke about them as bringers of humour and turned the laptop towards the tree to share the delightful view through cyber technology.
Sitting shoulder to shoulder , the two birds each had a hold on the same mouse, one with the tail end in it’s beak and the other with the head. The were wrestling for control of the food. The din increased as a third screeching kookaburra flew directly at the mouse’s exposed middle and joined the tussle for control of the tasty rodent.
It became a fierce fight, a ridiculous cacophony that mocked my hopes for an international conversation; I couldn’t hear a thing my sister was saying. Eventually the kookaburra with the mouse’s head championed it’s entirety and flew off to another tree.
In the quiet I had an AHA! moment. Prior to that moment I had translated the kookaburras call into my language, through the filters of my human perception, and then believed my assumption. I preferred to believe that Mother Nature kindly provided me with a laughing wild creature as a continuous reminder of the importance of humour, than notice that kookaburras screech as a territorial call. AHA! A blatant and stubborn misperception I had handily fabricated to entertain my fantasy world.
How many times in my life have I confidently held on to misperceptions about other things? Misperceptions that keep me from really seeing who or what is in front of me? Misperceptions based on misinterpretations of a situation?
Thanks kookaburras, for shining a light in the shadows of my mind, and reminding me to have a good laugh at myself.