The Penguin and I


Photo by Teodor Bjerrang on Unsplash

The other night I was watching a documentary called Encounters at the End of the World from 2007. It was about filmmaker Werner Herzog and his journey to the South Pole to visit the National Science Foundation’s headquarters. It was honestly a good show. Towards the end, they went to see a penguin colony. While discussing various habits about the penguins, Werner asked if penguins ever randomly left the colony because they have had enough.

Apparently, for reasons unknown to scientists, every so often a penguin will just up and leave. Leave the feeding grounds, leave the water, food, their mate, the colony, and walk away never to come back. Scientists don’t know if the penguins become disoriented, demented, or if it is intentional. Even if you take them back to their colony, they will turn around go right back to where they were heading. They walk for miles and miles, alone, with no food or water, and the sad part is, they leave to die. I admit, I cried.

I felt like I could relate to those little penguins, just wanting to go away from all of the troubles, all of the issues, all of the problems. I don’t know that I would ever reach the point where I would cross that line and say ‘I’m done’, but I know I’ve been awfully close to it at times. There come those times where you look around you and think, ‘This is what my life is going to be. For the rest of my life, this is it.’ It’s nothing that you wanted or hoped for. You’re not happy and all of your hopes and dreams have died. You realize if this is what you have to look forward to day after day after day you’re not going to make it…

Maybe I will go join the penguins after all.




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