I love how the mind works. When I was doing my teacher training, I thoroughly enjoyed my courses on brain research. I’m amazed by how the mind sees something it is unfamiliar with and then tries to place it in the familiar. Today I was driving Audrey, my oldest, to her day camp when I noticed about 150 yards ahead of me on the road the biggest black dog I had ever seen was about to cross the road. Then I noticed how the dog was moving and the rest went something like this… that’s not a dog, it’s a bear!!
“Bear, bear, bear!! Kids look! It’s a bear!! Bear up ahead!”
“Up ahead! It just crossed the street. Did you see it?!”
“Yes, yes!! Where’d it go?”
“It crossed the street.”
Now keep in mind this whole event took about 3.4 seconds to happen. By this time, we had caught up with where the bear had crossed the road. I was positive I’d see it on the other side of the road. No luck. That black bear was gone.
My mind did the same thing the first time I saw a moose in the neighborhood. It was night and I had either taken the trash out or walked the dog. I can’t remember which. I looked across the street in my neighbor’s yard and thought, why is there a cow in their yard? Oh, that’s not a cow, that’s a moose!! I then proceeded to run inside and yell, “Todd, Todd! Look! There’s a moose in their yard!!”
Now that I’ve safely seen my first bear, I’m hoping next time I’ll recognize it for what it is.