Driving past a pond one day with my family, I noticed how pretty the sunset was over the water and lily pads. We stopped, so I could get out and take a photo. I nearly stepped on a gator! I stopped and kept my foot above the ground, and then I slowly backed away. The magnificent beast paid me no mind. It was at that moment that I learned this:
Where we live, at any given pond or body of water, there is probably an alligator hiding out, carefully camouflaged, doing his or her alligator thing! I was thankful to walk away with my foot and life that day. I was also thankful to have been allowed into the presence of such a great predator. Since that day, I have been blessed by other encounters with alligators. Perhaps they sense my spirit of respect and admiration. Maybe they know I mean them no harm. We can occupy the same area and go on living our best lives. I often tell visitors and people new to the area about what I’ve learned from gators. If people are aware, and if they take reasonable precautions with their pets, children, trash, and selves, then we can all coexist and thrive. The habitats where gators typically live depend on them to keep the ecosystem in balance—so other species of plants and animals can live, healthy and well. It is a win-win for all, if we can co-exist!