Advice from a Bison

Every gift store we visited in Yellowstone had these laminated bookmarks for sale. I didn’t buy one but read the Advice from a Bison bookmark each time I saw it. It’s a silly plastic card someone created with clever references to life from a Bison’s point of view, something to elicit a chuckle or a laugh, but I actually thought it made good sense, thought I could apply it to my life.

Advice from a Bison

  • Stand your ground
  • Have a tough hide
  • Keep moving on
  • Cherish wide open spaces
  • Have a strong spirit
  • Roam wild and free
  • Let the chips fall where they may!

Maybe I took a special interest because I saw so many Bison during the week. We drove by herds of them grazing in wide open fields. We saw adult males wallowing and calves running around seemingly playing. We drove by individual males like the one here who stood at the edge of the woods near the side of the road. I saw one eating in a large grassy patch among all the geysers and springs at the Old Faithful Inn when I was out for an early morning walk. They were everywhere and I never got tired of seeing them or photographing them.

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Because I’m intense and tend to analyze myself and reflect on my life I thought about what I had read and how it relates to me. I’ve definitely grown thicker skin over the years and get my feelings hurt less than when I was younger. I try to stand my ground if it’s important and let go when it’s not.

Like bison I want to keep moving on, going forward in my life toward what I am passionate about. I’m still trying to figure that out but know that standing still won’t get me there. I love the idea of cherishing wide open spaces, roaming wild and free and having a strong spirit. I want to stay open and present and experience each moment as new and fresh. For me, it’s easier to accomplish all of this when I’m on vacation enjoying an adventure, not knowing what to expect, being able to stay in that moment. The challenge is when I get out of bed during the week and head off to work; it’s not as easy doing basically the same type of job I’ve been doing for over 30 years, one I am no longer passionate about, and keeping it new and fresh. I’m on a journey, one that is taking its sweet time; I can’t see the path clearly yet but I need to keep going, one foot in front of the other. As I keep moving toward what I hope to be a new beginning I need to remember that I can only do so much….then let the chips fall where they may.

Does anyone else feel this way?



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