I believe in facing fears.   

In the desert, that means a list of things, but as someone who enjoys the outdoors, I know education translates to continuity in doing what I love…living my best life…outside.  

So off I went with an invite from Arizona Fish and Game to learn about bats. The workshop was run by “batman” the real bat man. The invite said wear a hat, a head lamp, long pants, and boots. It was 103 degrees at night, but I didn’t have to be told twice. 

I get the hat thing, but I forgot we might get into a predicament with rattlesnakes too. Hence the boots. I guess we were prepared.  I glued myself next to someone taller and a bit meatier than me, and I don’t know why. It just seemed like the safe thing to do. 

And guess what?  Not one bat got tangled up in my hair, not one hissed at me like they do in the movies, and not one snake lurched from twenty feet away to bite me. Alleluia! 

And guess what happened next?

I was completely intrigued. We learned how and why Fish and Game monitors the bats, and we learned their habits and dispositions.  The workshop was conducted as a part of their bat monitoring program.  The badminton type nets we strung were the result of the study.  And we netted fifteen. Did I mention I was intrigued?    And more than that, I now find myself looking for them in my yard and finding ways to encourage them.  I am still uneasy when they dip into my pool to take a drink, but I trust we are more of a threat to them they they are to us.  

Over the years, I began to understand that while fear feels like a miserable emotion, it protects us from what might harm us, or at least the perception of what might harm us. It is also necessary and instrumental in grabbing and recognizing success.

We learn appropriate responses when we have a fear, and sometimes it’s just a new found respect. This tarantula was walking across the sidewalk at the Grand Canyon amidst hundreds of tourists. If you ever want to see one in the wild, September and October at the Canyon is perfect timing.

Facing fears also helps develop courage, and sometimes bragging rights. Pretty sure on THIS day I got the award for chivalry. I know it was dead but I still had to take it our of the pool with my tongs.


Wind Kisses, Donna