It is springtime and the Gagliano back yard is the scene of an ornithological Battle of Thermopylae. It is mating season and it is time for the Robin Rumble.
And these little guys really go at it. They battle briefly and return to their corners, eyeing each other coldly. Until one guy makes a move. Then, wham! Back at it again.
But all this fighting has a purpose. The winner gets the mate. Gets to continue his proud bloodline. The species survives yet another year.
But almost every year, one of the combatants, drunk on testosterone, decides he doesn’t like the looks of another bird and goes on a rampage. His nemesis, the one giving him the hairy eyeball, is his reflection in our back windows.
He flails at the image over and over. It can go on for days. We finally get him to stop by taping newspaper over the windows (nothing but class at Casa Gagliano).
That crazy robin sure wastes a lot of time and energy on a fight he can’t win. Seems silly.
This got me thinking. We all have our daily battles. Fights we have to fight. Maybe your kid needs some extra help at school. Maybe there is a bully that needs to be dealt with. Maybe you were wrongly accused or passed over for a promotion. As an expert witness, I move from battle to battle every day. It is part of the job. And part of life.
But aren’t the worst – and most unnecessary battles – with ourselves? That tormentor, that hector, that Javert that will not let you be, is more often than not the voice inside your head.