I have just returned from the cave and even though there were only five people there, it was a phenomenal evening. Thursday and Friday were fairly large crowds, but Saturday and tonight (Sunday) were extremely small. I know that school is starting in many areas on Monday and this is probably what has pulled the visitation numbers down. Everyone is busy buying last minute school supplies and getting to bed early so that they will be well rested for a full day tomorrow.
Wesley visited tonight. He is three years old and wrote a W on the sign-in sheet. With the most beautiful head of red hair and a twinkle in both eyes, he paid close attention to the information that I shared with the group. He even repeated ECHOLOCATION for me to a couple that showed up after I had given the presentation. He wasn’t alone though. In tow were his parents and his little buddy, a stuffed hairy mammoth. I wish I could remember its name. Names are important. They form a bond that makes us feel protective and warm. I planned to remember its name. I even talked to it when Wesley let me carry it up the trail. I think that it started with “H”.
Wesley also named a cute little bat “Gabby” that I netted and brought up to the viewing area for the visitors to see. Wesley was completely attentive to the tiny mammal when I presented her to him for an up-close and personal examination. His face lit up with enthusiasm for what instantly programmed into his excited brain as a memory! That look…hundreds of times repeated at this small eight-acre preserve is priceless!
I know that people all over the world are having hard times. I also know that you can’t put off the laughter and excitement that is part of life. A trip to The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve gives you a few hours of uninterrupted peace. This peace is the result of a balance of life. Being born, learning, using the new information, and sometimes succumbing to the grips of death add meaning to every bat’s life at The Eckert James River Bat Cave. We somehow see our misery as not so intense when we watch these fragile creatures struggle for life.
Each close encounter with the birds of prey, the snakes, raccoons, skunks, and other predators show us that the overwhelming odds against us are really not so bad. We can see past failures and smile because circumstances gave another opportunity for life to a tiny bat that stood no chance against her mighty foes. We smile because we know that we too have another chance…another day to reap hope out of overwhelming situations. Tiny wings of hope fly into the night sky letting us know that life is the obstacle as well as the smile.
Don’t forget the name… The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve…feel protective… smile… smile a lot… know that the sun will shine tomorrow somewhere in the world….! And “Thank you, Wesley, for a wonderful, happy evening!”