Ursula, the birds, and the Buddhist monk

Here we are, last night in New Orleans, and we’re spent. Today we went on a ghost tour, we wandered the French Quarter one last time, we bought art, and we ate burgers at Yo Momma’s.

Peanut Butter and Bacon Burger. Damn good. No lie. I owe J a beer for that recommendation.

But see, that’s not what you guys are asking to hear about. So :

As you may recall, back in 2008 Ursula and I went to Disney World with my family – Mom, Dad, my kids, my sister, her kids, and her husband. And on the day we went to Animal Kingdom, Mom and Dad say “we’re taking your kids” and away they go, and a fun time is had by all. We walk two or three of the AWESOME trails, see the tigers, see the naked mole rats, see all KINDS of cool animals, and are on our way to lunch at Yak & Yeti. I mean, the name alone suggests we need to stop there, right? Plus, we’re STARVING.

But standing nearby is a man and an owl. Ursula is intrigued. A man and an OWL? And as she’s ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the owl, he announces that the bird show starts in 5 mins.

Before I can register that last bit, she’s dragging me bodily into the show, and lunch can wait.

As we’re getting seated, I notice that on the row in front of us are a group of Buddhist Monks. Well, hey, Disney is for everyone, and there’s nothing in Buddhism that says monks can’t go to a bird show, right?

The show begins. And it’s fun, and funny, and a bit contrived and there were LOTS and LOTS of birds. And I look over at Ursula, and she has this look on her face, a look of pure, child-like JOY and wonder. And she’s RAPT. Absolutely RAPT[1]. I mean, her mouth is hanging open, in an expression of awe and happiness. [3]

And then I notice something else.

Most of the monks in front of us are quietly enjoying the show, and having a modest lunch of a single orange each. Except for the one on the end.

The one who is absolutely rapt, with an expression of joy and wonder and absolute happiness on his face, and he’s smiling and his mouth is kinda hanging open in awe.

Just like Ursula.

And that’s what it’s all about.

[1] Except when she’s grabbing me and going “OH! OH! A Gray-Crowned Crane just hit you on the HEAD! THAT WAS AWESOME!”[2]
[2] And yeah, it was a pretty awesome bird. Except for the bit where I got hit on the head.
[3] I have pictures.

About Kevin Sonney

Kevin Sonney - who, contrary to popular opinion was NOT raised by wolves - grew up in central North Carolina. He fell into the technology field by accident in 1991, when he gave up the wild and crazy lifestyle of an on-air AM radio DJ to become a mundane technical support monkey. The technology industry has never really recovered from this. Kevin has worked for such names as IBM, Red Hat, webslingerZ, and Lulu Technologies (we won't mention the ones that didn't survive the experience). He currently works as a Linux Administrator for Apptio. In his spare time he rescues stray animals and plays video games with his two sons. His wife, we're sad to say, helps him get past the really hard bits. Kevin is still not very mundane, he just got better at hiding it.
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